| Jibetakkosama by Sanetô Akira (1935 -) is a collection of eight original short stories in style of folk tales. The stories are shocking, for they describe the ugly acts of people, such as betrayal.|
In the third story "Kubi Nashi Hotei-don" [Hotei, a god with a potbelly who is one of the seven gods on good luck, has no Head], the protagonist called Hotei-don because he has a potbelly. He is a beggar, and the village people laughed at him. In a year of crop failure, the village people decide to revolt. Fearful of punishment, nobody wants to be the leader; they decide to make Hotei-don the leader, as he has no relatives. Thanks to Hotei-don, who keeps grinning even when he was targeted with guns, the revolt succeeds. He becomes the village hero, and people call him a god. However, when they are blamed by the lord of the domain, they give the head of Hotei-don to him. People in the village can survive, but some of them go mad at the sight of Hotei-don without his head, and the village becomes deadly.
The background of the stories in this collection is the society of poor village farmers. There exists a firm hierarchy of the rich lord and the poor common people. Even oppressed people discriminate weaker people or animals. Ones like Hotei-don are used by other people, and almost all the time killed in the end, while the lords often suffer no damage. These stories without a happy ending show that common people are also responsible for their tragedy. The tone of the stories is of folk tales with humor, and the lyric description closes up the deed and death of the discriminated ones.
Illustrations by Inoue Yosuke are Indian-ink drawings, which combine liveliness or humor with the dark side of the stories.
Jibetakkosama was highly praised in dealing with the dark aspect of human nature, and received the Japanese Association of Writers for Children Newcomer Prize and the Noma Award for Juvenile Literature in 1972. In 1978 it was published as one of the Kôdansha Pocket Book series.