| @@Gorohachi Daimyôjin is an original picture book story of a raccoon dog and village people told in the humorous regional words of Nara.|
@@Gorohachi is a mischievous raccoon dog living in the grove of Benten [Goddess of Music and Fortune]. In order not to be troubled by him, villagers call him gHonorable Gorohachih and offer some deep-fried tofu, which is actually a favorite food of foxes, the messenger of the god Inari [guardian deity]. Meanwhile, the construction of a railroad has begun in the village. On the day of the opening, the villagers see a train coming from afar, and take it for Gorohachifs trick, and rush out onto the tracks. Seeing this, Gorohachi stands in the way of the train and saved the villagers. The tragedy of a raccoon dog who sacrifices himself for the villagers is described somehow in a comical touch. It ends with a scene where villagers build a shrine for the dead animal in the grove, put up a flag of Inari, and offers pieces of deep-fried tofu. The priest of the village temple comes to recite a sutra for Gorohachi.
@@Gorohachi Daimyôjin is set in a village where Nakagawa Masafumi (1921- ) was born. He created a world of the village where gods and Buddha, raccoon dog and fox, are all mixed up. The Villagers honor Gorohachi as a gracious deity, offer him pieces of deep-fried tofu, and the priest chants a sutra for him. Villagers are tolerant and do not feel conflicted about their acts, which is easy for the readers to sympathize with. The character of Gorohachi has another strong appeal in the book. The image of a mischievous and facetious raccoon dog is represented vividly by the illustrator Kajiyama Toshio. Further, using regional words in a picture book was very rare at the time. The superb combination of words and pictures creates a unique picture book world.
@@Gorohachi Daimyôjin was published as a monthly published subscription picture book Kodomo no Tomo [Childrenfs Companion] (no. 154, January 1969) as well as one of the Childrenfs Companion Library (special hardcover editions). The latter was published as one of the Childrenfs Companion Album (masterpieces) in August 1969.