Japanese Folk Tale


Japanese Folk Tale

12 The Yanagita Guide to the Japanese Folk Tale

Minamikanbara-gun: Kamuhara 188, "The mudsnail son" (Tsubu


Ishikawa: Kaga 138, "Chibitar6."

Gifu, Yoshiki-gun: MK II 10 26, "Yubitar6" [Finger Boy]. He was born

in answer to the prayers of a farmer and his wife. He got into the

ear of a horse and led it. He was swept from a cowshed and eaten

by a cow. People thought it was a bad sign to hear a voice from

the cow, and so it was killed, and Yubitaro was found in its

stomach. Next, he was eaten by a wild dog. He led the dog to a

chicken pen. The master killed the dog because its belly was big.

Caution should be exercised because this seems to be a foreign


Hiroshima, Hiroshima City: Aki 90, "Daizu and the demon" (Daizu to

oni). Daizu [Bean Boy] went on an expedition, fought a demon and

won treasures. The carpenter next door tried to imitate him but


Aside from the name, this is like "Issun Boshi."

Saeki-gun, Ogaki-mura: Geibi 48, "The magic mallet" (Uchide no

kozuchi). About Mameichi.

Toyota-gun: Aki 87, "Issun Boshi."

Tokushima: Awa Iyayama 14, "Issun Boshi."

Fukuoka, Kurate-gun: Fukuoka 71, "The ill-natured mother" (Shone

waruki haha). A fragment. The ill-natured mother had a baby like

a bean. He got a sack of rice and went into the mountains. His

parents followed him and saw him walk into the lake with his clogs

on and sit on the sack of rice to rest. This may have some connection

with the Hiroshima story, "Daizu and the demon."

Saga, Saga-gun: MK II 7 36, "Chinkoman-no-kohiyoro." A baby boy born

from a log that floated downstream was named "Chinkoman-nokohiyoro."

He set out to destroy a demon with a needle, a measuring

stick and a bowl. He tied the demon to the ceiling and treasures

came dropping down. The old neighbor's failure to imitate

him is included.

The tale is originally about a puppy and the part about destroying

the demon has been inserted into it.

Nagasaki, Kitatakaku-gun: MK II 10 47, "Mametar6"; Hogen shi 22 53

"Mametar6. "

Shimabara: Shimabara 152, "The son-in-law called Issunbo" (Issunbo

no muko). A man about the size of a one-sho bottle of sake

became the son-in-law of a choja, conquered Onigashima, brought

home a magic mallet, turned into a handsome man, and prospered.

The episodes about rice storehouses and burning one's own house

go with it.

Ikinoshima: (Old) Iki 179, "Mamego" (Mamego no hanashi).

Kagoshima: Koshiki 70, "Issun B6shi."

Kikaijima: Shima II 461, "Issun Kotar6."

Okierabu: Okinoerabu 227, "Issunb6."

Further reference:

Mukashibanashi kenkyii. II 3 21, "Otogiz6shi kaisetsu" by Okami

Masao. He discusses the tales "Kootoko no soshi" and "Himeyuri."

Shans at home 3. A Tom Thumb story which resembles "The mudsnail

son-in-law" of Iwate.

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