Once upon a time there was a boy who lived with his mother on Mt. Ashigara. His name was Kintaro, and he was very strong from the day he was born. Kintaro wore a red haragake (a kind of clothing worn by small children long ago) that his mother made for him emblazoned with the character "kin" (which means "gold") and often went outside to play.
 Kintaro's friends were the creatures of the mountains, such as rabbits, monkeys, and wild boars. All of the animals liked Kintaro. They played sumo together, but no one could ever beat Kintaro. One bear who was very proud of his strength decided to take Kintaro on, saying, "I'll wrestle you," but Kintaro won.
One day Kintaro took a hatchet, climbed onto the bear's back, and went off into the mountains with his friends. On the way, they came to a cliff overlooking a big stream and found that there was no bridge across. "I'll knock a tree over and make us a bridge," said the bear. But even though he pushed and pushed, the tree didn't budge. "I'll give it a try," said Kintaro, and he began to push with all his might. When he pushed, the tree began to move, and with a loud crack it fell over and spanned the river. "Hooray!" shouted all of Kintaro's friends.
Just then a voice called out from behind, saying, "What incredible strength!" When Kintaro turned around to look, he saw a great samurai and his retainers. The samurai said to Kintaro, "Your strength is incredible! Won't you please become my retainer?" "Can I really become a warrior?" Kintaro asked. "Of course you can," said the samurai. "One day you'll become a magnificent warrior." 
Kintaro went home and told his mother, "I really want to become a great warrior, too." His mother said to him, "I'm sure you'll be a splendid warrior. Actually, your father was a powerful warrior himself. Don't worry about me. Go ahead and go." Kintaro said goodbye to his mother and his animal friends before heading off into the mountains. "Mother," he said, "thank you for raising and taking care of me. I will never forget your kindness. I will come back and get you." After Kintaro grew up, he became a powerful warrior called Sakata Kintoki and vanquished an ogre living on Mt. Oe. Kintaro then sent for his mother, and the two of them lived together happily ever after.