Momotaro. The Peach Boy. It’s an old Japanese folk story. He arrives in a giant peach on a river, some nice peeps take him in and raise him, he leaves his parents to go fight some ogres on an island, recruits a talking dog, monkey and pheasant along the way, fucks them ogres up big time and comes home with treasure. Queenie remembers it. I’ve never heard of it.
This building is a whole ‘museum’ dedicated to it? Hard to get a sense of what’s going on in here. This goofy guy walks up to us and greets us. He shows us where to start. There are numbered stations. From what I can gather most of them are simple eye tricks and illusions using mirrors. Not sure what that has to do with Momotaro but the enthusiasm that Goofy has showing us this stuff makes it hilarious.
How many Demons do you see? No look again, there’s 5. This guy.
Then there’s this old trick. You spin the black and white circle and stare at it for a while. When you look up, the demon face and flowers wane in and out like crazy. Haha Goofy just giggles at our reactions. He’s so excited. Just his anticipation of our reactions to this silly shit is worth the price of admission.
While we’re distracted by the spinning circle he goes and hides behind a table with a hole in the middle and mirrors underneath. When we turn around to follow him to the next station all we can see is his head sticking out of a table between 2 peach halves. Queenie and I about died when we saw this, it caught us completely by surprise. This guy has a magicians timing. We can’t stop laughing at this shit. I so wish I had a picture of it. And a soundtrack of his giggle. He is getting a major kick out of showing us this cheesy shit. I love it.
He motions for Queenie to get under the table so I can take a picture. What the hell, this is hilarious.
After this there’s a haunted house to walk through. It makes skeletons and shit jump out at you and blasts you with air. Nothing to do with Momotaro but it’s kinda funny and does make us jump a couple times.
There’s a room with a giant peach. I keep expecting a floorboard or something to trigger and Momotaro to jump out and scare the bejeebuz out of us but nothing happens.
The ol’ mirror trick
We continue through Momotaro’s house of illusions
A back room has a collection of Momotaro memorabilia from throughout the centuries.
Back by the front there is a display of Momotaro related games and puzzles and figures.
A girl working there asks if we know the story of Momotaro and I say that we don’t really. She gives us a book and we take a moment to read through it. This line that he kept using when he met the talking dog, monkey and pheasant is great. Momotaro would offer them a millet cake for their company and say, “I like your style. Eat up, and follow me.”
I’m not sure if it was meant this way or a result of the translation but “I like your style. Eat up, and follow me” is an amazing thing to say to just about anyone.
There is a slightly different version of the tale that is based out of the Okayama Prefecture (where we are now in Kurashiki). This is probably why Momotaro is popular enough to have his own ‘museum’ here.
Well, that was a funny way to kill an hour before the boat ride on the canal. Momotaro you silly bitch w your tricks. Well done, sir. High five