浦島太郎 Urashima Taro







Urashima Taro

One day, a fisherman named Urashima Taro comes across some children bullying a turtle on the seashore. He stops the children and saves the turtle. Afterward, Taro goes back to his daily work, but the turtle reappears as a sign of gratitude. The turtle conveys an invitation for Taro to visit the underwater palace, Ryugu-jo, where the sea gods live. Taro rides on the turtle's back and goes to Ryugu-jo at the bottom of the ocean.

Upon arriving at the palace, Taro meets the beautiful princess Otohime and is welcomed by her. He enjoys various banquets and festivals in the castle for several days. However, as Taro begins to worry about his hometown and family, he asks the princess for permission to return. Otohime agrees and gives Taro a small treasure box, called "Tamatebako," warning him never to open it.

Taro obeys the princess's words, rides the turtle back across the sea, and returns to his hometown. However, once back, he finds the village transformed into an unfamiliar place, with none of his family or acquaintances present. He learns from the villagers that the story of Urashima Taro took place 300 years ago.

In his despair, Taro ends up opening the Tamatebako given by Otohime. As he does so, white smoke rises from the box, and Taro instantly ages into an old man. He returns to the sea in this state, never to come back again.

This story expresses feelings of nostalgia for the passage of time and people of the past, deeply rooted in Japanese culture.