While the Kintoki/Kintarō
character has a full set of folkloric tales devoted to him and his feats of
derring do here he is merely one of four loyal retainers who accompany
Minamoto Yorimitsu - also known as Raikō - in the pursuit and slaying
of the great earth spider or tsuchigomo. Hence the prominent display
of the giant web.
display of the kanji character kin for gold "金" on his costume is a
dead giveaway as to his identity. Added to that is the deep and light pink
shading of his naked torso which is meant to convey strength more than flab.
Think of the power and physique of a great sumo wrestler.
aka Kaidōmaru, was the love child of one of the bodyguards of a tenth
century Emperor and a beautiful young woman. However, the father fell into
disgrace and eventually committed suicide. After the burial
pregnant mother went to Ashigara mountain where he was born. Very soon it
became clear that the child was imbued with superhuman powers. During one of
his feats Yoshimitsu saw him and decided to raise the child himself. It was
Yoshimitsu which gave him the name Kintoki.
The detail above is
from a print by Kuniyoshi showing one of the remarkable feats of
bravery by the young
This was sent to us by our friend D.
NOTE: There are
numerous versions of all of the myths built up around
None of them are set
in stone. Don't settle on one as being the absolute example.