Warning: Mythical Foods May Contain Traces of Empowering Elements

19 Oct

Food has often been used by writers (and others) to hold a certain empowering element in myths. In Momotaro’s story, the mythical food is the millet dumpling. This food enables Momotaro and his companions to take over an island that is full of ogres. The food also serves as the element that unites the heroes and gives them the strength they need to defeat the oni.

Ever since I was a little boy, I was always extremely interested in Greek mythology. This same use of a mythical food as was in Momotaro’s story can be seen there, as well. One example of this is ambrosia. This meal was given to the gods living in Mount Olympus by doves. Ambrosia, in Greek mythology, is quite prevalent. It has been used by Aphrodite in the form of eau de ambrosia to grant her more seductiveness. In addition to this, it is frequently used by other gods and goddesses to not only fully satisfy one’s hunger, but also to confer a sort of grace and immortality.

Both ambrosia and the millet dumplings are mythical foods that serve as devices for different things. The dumplings stand for unity and strength, and the ambrosia stands for immortality and satiety. Food is often used to convey different things in writing, and food in a mythical sense is even more prevalent. I used to think that eating ambrosia (which is delicious, by the way) conferred some sort of special feelings of strength, and I am fairly confident if I were aware of Momotaro’s story and millet dumplings from a younger age, they would also have somewhat of a similar effect.


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