Role: Kintarō (金太郎)

Alternate names:
Sakata Kaidōmaru (坂田怪童丸)
Sakata no Kintoki (坂田金時)

Related links:


"One of the most popular stories in Japanese mythology is not about the many great gods of the Shinto hierarchy, but about a superhero called Kintaro (Golden Boy), who possessed superhuman strength even as a child, and grew up to become a heroic samurai. Although Kintaro's career as a samurai may have been based on a real-life figure—the great warrior Sakata no Kintoki— he is essentially a figure of legend. Brought up in the forest, he became both a friend to the animals and a defender of the forest people against monsters when still young. Later on, in his exploits as a samurai, he protected Japan from several even deadlier foes."


"Kintaro's greatest possession was his axe. It was both a tool for cutting down trees and a weapon that he could use to defeat the monsters of the forest."


Kintaro's birth

"Kintoki was a warrior from Kyoto who fell in love with a beautiful young woman and married her. Soon afterwards, he became involved in a court intrigue and was banished to the forest, because of some malicious gossip that had been spread about him by certain courtiers jealous of his power. He died soon after arriving in the forest, where his wife give birth to a son. When the boy was born, his mother named him Kintaro. Even as a baby, Kintaro was prodigiously strong; by the time he was eight years old he could cut down trees as easily and as well as the most experienced of woodcutters, and he came to be valued highly by the people of the forest. Once Kintaro became accustomed to the ways of the wild, he protected his mother and the other forest dwellers from many monsters, including terrifying beasts such as the giant earth-spider."

Quotes from: Myths & Legends: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings by Philip Wilkinson, p. 228.