Japanese Folktale Review- Dorobo

Sunday, May 31, 2020


In this article I'll give my opinion on the Japanese Folktale called Dorobo.

If you want to read the original story, please check this:
  Dorobo story >>

Summary of Dorobo

This story starts off with a group of thieves. One this particular day, this group of thieves heard about another group of thieves in the next village over. The thieves in the neighboring village had managed to obtain a lot of treasure. The thieves in the other village obtained this treasure by attacking a castle. So, of course the group of thieves wanted to steal the other group of thieves’ treasures.
The group of thieves that we are following, lured the neighboring village's thieves into a pitfall that they created. They put a stone over the pitfall to prevent the other thieves from escaping. They were able to obtain the treasure. That's that right?... WRONG.
There was quite a bit of treasure. HOWEVER, there were 100 thieves amongst them. If they wanted to split the treasure equally, each thief would only receive a small portion. They decided that wouldn't be good enough. So, they decided to kill each other instead. They all agreed to fight to the death to get the number of thieves down.
Well, they fought on "ready, set, go!" When it was all over, the number of thieves went down by half. Now, there was only 50 thieves left to split the treasure. They STILL were not happy with this number. They again decided to fight on "ready, set, go!"
They fought AGAIN! This time, the number again went down by half. Now, there were only 25 thieves left to split the treasure. Welp, you guessed it, they STILL weren't happy! So, they decided to fight AGAIN. They fought on "ready, set, go!" THIS TIME, the number dwindled to a mere 2. FINALLY, the two thieves were happy with this number...or were they??
After all that fighting, the two remaining thieves were very hungry. They decided that one thief would go to the city to buy food, while the other thief would watch the treasure. However, the thief who went to get food had an evil plan. He decided to poison the food of the other thief. He put a poisonous mushroom inside of a rice ball.
When the thief returned with the rice ball, the other thief began to slash at him! He succeeded. The thief who bought the food died. The rice ball fell out of his hand. The other thief picked up the rice ball and ate it. He died. There were no more thieves. The end.

My Thoughts

old woman
This is really one of my favorite folktales so far. It's quite funny if you don't pay attention to all the murdering. Plus, it's one of the folktales that I feel has a good message. Also, I can actually understand the point they're trying to convey.
I feel like this is what a folktale should be. It can be funny or sad, but it needs to convey a clear message to the audience. But that's only my opinion, which isn't worth much LOL.


The takeaway here is very easy to grasp. Don't be too greedy! Money is, and always will be, the root of all evil. The thieves started off as 100. They weren't happy. They murdered each other to get the number down to 50. They still weren't happy.
They murdered each other to get the number down to 25, which in my opinion is a pretty good number to split a treasure. But of course, they still weren't happy. They became too greedy, and in the end, no one got the treasure. They did all of that for absolutely nothing. What's the point in that?
But I do think it's good in the end. The thieves from both villages suffered. Thieves and murderers should ultimately suffer in the end for their wrongdoings. It's a good message for children to learn. I hope you enjoyed this review.
Please try to read using Kanji, Hiragana, Romaji, and English! See you soon!