Long, long ago there lived in ancient Japan a great archer warrior named Hachiro Tametomo, who became famous as the most skilful archer in the whole of the realm at that time. Hachiro means "the eighth," and he was so called because he was the eighth son of his father, General Tameyoshi of the house of Minamoto. Yoshitomo, who afterwards became such a great figure in Japanese history, was his elder brother. Tametomo was therefore uncle to the Shogun Yoritomo and the hero Yoshitsune, He belonged to an illustrious family indeed.
Read alsoFolktales from JAPAN
A glimpse of Japanese lifestyle, morals and principles can be seen in the various folktales that the people of the country have been enjoying since years. Humorous and peculiar characters and situations are as much a part of the stories as is the people's prominent culture.The present book gives the young readers a glimpse of the affluent culture…
As a child Hachiro gave promise of being a very strong man, and as he grew older this promise was more than fulfilled. He early showed a love of archery, and his left arm being four inches longer than his right, there was no one who could bend the bow better or send the arrow farther than he could. By nature Hachiro was a rough, wild boy who did not know what fear was, and he loved to challenge his elder brothers to fight. He ever a grew wilder as he grew older, till at last he acted so rudely and wilfully, respecting and obeying no one set over him, that even his own father found him unmanageable.
Now it happened when Hachiro was thirteen years old that a learned man, named Fujiwara-no-Shinsei, came to the Palace of the Emperor one day to give a lecture on a certain book. During the lecture he said that there could not be found in the whole of Japan a warrior whose skill in archery could match that of Kiyomori, the chief of the Taira clan, or of Yorimasa, the Minamoto knight. These two knights, though belonging to two different clans, were the best archers throughout the land…..