Lee Jay Walker brings us the art and folklore of Japan’s Kintaro the Golden Boy:
Toshidama Gallery comments about the depiction of Kintaro by the artist Utagawa Yoshikazu (pitcure above)by stating that “Yoshikazu portrays Kintaro (the Golden Boy) wrestling one of Yorimitsu’s retainers. Kintaro, as with so many Japanese heroes, is the subject of legend and possibly some fact. Raised by his mother near Mount Kintoki it was said that he was a wild child of superhuman strength – wrestling bears, uprooting trees – and he befriended and spoke to animals especially his friends the monkeys.”
Toshidama rightly reports that Kintaro remains a popular figure in modern Japan and that he is viewed as a symbol of great fortune for young boys. Also, in modern Japan Kintaro can be seen in story books, manga, statues, animation and in other aspects of modern culture. Indeed, the computer game Mortal Kombat draws strong parallels with Golden boy. Therefore, Kintaro is equally at home in the old world of noh, kabuki and ukiyo-e and the new world of animation, manga and computer games.