This top depicts Momotarō, sometimes translated as “The Peach Boy,” or “Peach Tarō,” a legendary figure originating in the Edo period (1600-1868). In many versions of the Momotarō legend, Momotarō is a boy who came to Earth inside a giant peach who is discovered by an elderly couple who then raise him. He later leaves his home to fight a band of demons on a distant island, meeting a talking dog, a monkey, and a pheasant on the way who joint him in his quest. Most versions of the legend end with Momotarō defeating the demons, taking their treasure and their chief captive, and then returning home to live happily ever after with his parents.
Hiroi Michiaki: And this is, did this one have two faces? He’s facing backwards, and there’s another [face] in the front. This is Momotarō on the back, too. And he’s carrying dango (dumplings). Ahh, there it is, there it is. He’s carrying dango, Momotarō, too. And this is the back of the oni. I think the front is in here somewhere, too. This the reverse side of Momotarō.