We are very excited for the newest addition to the Lladro Classic Children’s Tales! This sculpture is of Kintaro And The Bear 01008687, a folk hero from Japanese folklore.He is a child of superhuman strength and was raised by a hag on Mount Ashigara. He made friends with the animals on the mountain and became a loyal follower of Minamoto no Yorimitsu under a new name: Sakata no Kintoki. Kintaro is popularly known for capturing Shutendouji, a demonic terror of the region of Mount Ooe. Today, Kintaro is celebrated on Children’s Day (May 5th), where Japanese parents decorate the room of their newborn son with Kintaro dolls in hopes it will help the child grow to be strong.
Kintaro’s clothing consists of the classic red bib with a Chinese symbol for “gold” written on it and his battle axe, which is his only possession and a symbol for thunder. Lladro also included, however, a decorated vest, to imitate traditional Japanese embroidery.
Kintaro in Japanese translates to “Golden Boy.” In order to follow the interpretation to porcelain, Lladro had to depict Kintaro’s most recognizable symbols and distinctive features. The sculpture features the hero riding on a bear, who we believe is his friend. Animals were friends to Kintaro, but also messengers and mounts to ride upon. Some stories include him sumo wrestling with bears.