The Tree of Courage


The Tree of Courage
Written by Ryusuke Saito and Illustrated by Jiro Takidaira
Despite being nearly half a century old, Mochi mochi no ki (The Tree of Courage), is a magnificent long-seller that still captivates readers to this day!
This novel tells the story of a cowardly young boy, raised by his grandfather after losing his father, as he confronts his fears and overcomes them. The scene where the Tree of Courage shines is truly beautiful.

The intensity and appeal of Jiro Takidaira’s unique cut paper art are a perfect fit for this story. One could say that this story is just a simple depiction of a young boy’s growth; however, the scene of the Tree of Courage shining in the night is simply wonderful. It’s the reward for a 5 year old boy who overcame a wall in his life. His caring heart triumphed over his fears, leading to Mameta’s growth. It’s a moving story that resonates with the reader’s heart.
Children’s author Ryusuke Saito (1917-1985) and illustrator Jiro Takidaira (1921-2009) are a famous duo that have produced many award winning picture books, many of which have appeared in textbooks within Japan; they are beloved by children all throughout Japan. Mochi mochi no ki (The Tree of Courage) is one of this duo’s masterpieces.

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