"Once upon a time: a young boy and his mother lived alone in the deepest part of Mt Ashigara near Kyoto. - [in some telling's Kintaro's mother abandons him there and he's then raised by his animal friends, other times hes given to a yokai mountain hag known as "Yama-Uba" (other times the mother transforms into the yama-uba herself.) other telling's say that she was a princess, impregnated by a clap of thunder sent from either a red dragon of Mount Ashigara, or the thunder god Raiko making Kintaro into a sort of demigod.] --Regardless: Kintaro was a strong and energetic boy and his mother (whoever she was) was a loving, doting mama!
As Kintaro grew up, he became stronger and stronger! When he was about 8 he was strong enough to chop down huge trees with a single a swing of his Masakari (a huge axe, nearly the size of his body!) - Because he was so strong (and helpful) The local woodcutters gave him the nickname of "little wonder" so his mother made him a Haragake bib with the kanji for gold (金) on it.
Living in the mountains, Kintaro came in contact with animals more often than he did other children, he befriended many wild animals: monkeys, rabbits, foxes, boar, deer, and bear cubs to name a few. they would play games and test eachothers strength. - He became strong enough to wrestle even the strongest bears, and was fast enough to catch a gigantic carp with his bare hands... [There are many tales about Kintaros exploits during this time.]
One day after wrestling with his friends and coming out on top as the strongest in the mountains. Kintaro was approached by a famous 'samurai & yokai hunter (Minamoto no Yorimitsu) who was impressed by Kintaro's strength and recruited him to join his army in Kyoto. Kintaro trained as a warrior and became renowned for his brute strength. When he grew up, Kintaro changed his name to "Sakata no Kintoki" (after the mountain and his father) and he became the leader of yorimitsu's five braves (Shitennō) – Most famously they would eventually vanquish an Oni that lived in Mt Ooe: known as Shuten Doji. [A tale for another time.] - Kintaro eventually went back for his mother & he brought her to Kyoto and they lived happily ever after. The End!"
--perhaps not the most exciting retelling, but i hope you enjoyed! Considering that Kintaro grows into one of the men who defeat the oni: Shuten Doji, its certainly a good origin story- It's tradition in Japan to decorate the room of a newborn babies with Kintarō dolls on Childrens day, so that the child will grow up with the same strength and courage to be strong like the folk hero so i felt like a sticker was the next best thing if you can't get your hands on a toy. - Various Toys & Artwork of Kintaro can be frequently seen riding carp, snakes, bears and other creatures. (including oni and other feirce monsters/yokai) - Traditionally he's drawn with red skin and as I've explained in my earlier posts on the subject, the color red is pretty much synonymous with luck and was once considered an effective ward against the disease known as small pox. So, kintaro was often used as part of the "red treatment" so kintaro appears in a number of aka-e prints, used as talismans against disease spreading Yokai such as Hosogami – The motif of a chubby boy riding a carp is also especially popular in old Hariko (paper mache) charms.
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) - Part of my Night parade of 100 Demons - Yokai & Japanese folklore sticker collection, weather-resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!