|@@H A representative full-length story of children at the time of the
transition of childrenfs literature, Tatsu no Ko Tarô was one of the first works which recreated folktales, in this case those of the Akita and Shinano regions. This large-scaled story, Matsutani Miyokofs first full-length work, received Kodansha Award of Childrenfs Literature for Newcomers and gained a place in the Hans Christian Andersen Award, Honor List.|
@@Matsutani (1926- ) belonged to the Folktale Society presided over by Kinoshita Junji. She set out with her husband Segawa Takuo to collect folktales. She came across the Koizumi Kotaro legend in the Shinano region. She wanted to create a new kind of fiction based on folktales and legends yet different from them. She also incorporated the Hachirôgata legend of Akita into the story.
@@Tatsu no Ko Tarô consists of two parts: gTasu no Ko Tarô and Ayah and gLooking for Mother.h In the first part, Taro is an idler who is always singing in the mountains. He is gentle to the animals living there. One day, his grandmother tells him that his mother has turned into a dragon. He also learns that the village folk are craving for larger farmland. He then hears that Aya has been kidnapped by a black ogre. An idler turns into a boy with a strong sense of justice and succeeds in rescuing her. In the latter part, Tarô sets out to look for his mother with the aim of giving larger farmland to villagers.
@@An epic story, peoplefs sense of justice, rhythmical style, and songs cited here and there are the strong appeal of Tatsu no Ko Tarô. Contemporary reviews valued Matsutanifs simple, fast-moving story with a grand theme. She created a protagonist deep-rooted in the Japanese soil, which was also evaluated as the reason for its success.
@@Prior to publication Matsutani established a theatrical troop named Tarôza, and Tatsu no Ko Tarô was chosen to be the first performed play. In 1972 it was played in joruri (a dramatic narrative chanted to a samisen accompaniment) and in ballet. In 1979 it was made into an animated film. It was also staged by several theatrical companies.
@@In 1963, Tatsu no Ko Tarô was made into a kamishibai (picture-story show) by Doshinsha and Kodansha published a picture book version illustrated by Kurosaki Yoshisuke. Tatsu no Ko Tarô was translated into English in 1967, German in 1969, and Russian in 1971. A pocket book edition was published in 1972 and a revised edition with illustrations by Tashiro Sanzen in 1979. It was included in Aoi Tori Bunko [Kodansha Childrenfs Library] in 1980. Kume Kôichifs vivid illustrations of the original version were also an important factor of its success and repeated reprinting.