Japanese Collectibles
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One-Inch Boy

一寸法師 (Issunbōshi)

Issun-boshi ("One-Inch Boy") is the subject of a fairy tale from Japan. The story begins with an old, childless couple who live alone. The old woman wishes for a child, despite her old age, "Please, please let us have a child, no matter how small." Eventually, a son was born to them. But small indeed was the child-no larger than a grown man's fingertip. They named the miniature child Issun-boshi (Issun is a measure of approximately 3 centimeters. Boshi means son). The child, despite being incredibly small, is treated well by his parents. One day, the boy realizes he will never grow, so he goes on a trip to seek his place in the world. Fancying himself a miniature samurai, Issun-boshi is given a sewing needle for a sword, a soup bowl for a boat, and chopsticks for oars. He sails downriver to the city, where he petitions for a job with the government and goes to the home of a wealthy daimyo, whose daughter is an attractive princess. He is scorned for his height, but nevertheless given the job of accompanying the princess as her playmate. While they travel together, they are suddenly attacked by an oni, who deals with the pesky boy by swallowing him. The boy defeats the Oni by pricking him from within with his needle/sword. The Oni spits out Issun-boshi and drops the magical Uchide's Mallet as he runs away. As a reward for his bravery, the princess uses the power of the mallet to grow him to full size. Issun-boshi and the princess remain close companions and eventually wed. See "Issun-boshi." Wikipedia. Retrieved December 22, 2013.

VTG Small 4" Japanese HAKATA (Clay Doll) Issun-boshi "One-Inch Boy" Fairy Tale

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