Cultural References

Mythology & Folklore

taken from The Story of Momotaro the Peach Boy

The story of Momotaro is one of the best known fables from Japan. It tells the story of a boy, Momotaro, who was born inside a peach and raised by kindly woodcutters. When Momotaro turns fifteen he goes on a journey to Oni Island, and during the course of his travels becomes friends with a dog, bird and monkey.

Relevance to Ranma

The second Ranma film, like the first, uses villans who are modified characters from Japanese literary history. Rather than the Seven Lucky Gods, these characters come from Momotaro Densetsu. In the story Momotaro travels to an island to slay an evil oni. He is joined on his quest by a monkey (represented by Sarutoru the monkey man), a bird (Toristan the bird man) and a dog (Wonton the dog man). Each name also has a pun as well. Prince Toma stands in for Momotaro, the boy born from a peach. "Saru" is Japanese for "monkey" and "Sarutoru" is thought to be a pun on the name of J.P. Sarte a French existentialist writer. "Tori" is Japanese for "bird" and Toristan is a pun on the name Tristan who was a character in an ancient piece of literature Tristan and Isolde. Wonton is a Chinese food and "wan" is the Japanese sound for a dog's bark.

An Introduction to Ranma