Uchide no kozuchi ( 打ち出の小槌, lit. "Tap-Appear Mallet") is a legendary Japanese "magic hammer" which can "tap out" anything wished for. This treasure is also rendered into English as "magic wishing mallet", "lucky hammer", "the mallet of fortune", etc.
In popular belief, the magic wooden hammer is a standard item held in the hand of the iconic deity Daikoku-ten,who is often represented as figurines, statues, netsukes, and in architecture.
It is also a stock item in popular tales. In Issun-bōshi ("One-Inch Boy"), the hero gains the mallet defeating an ogre (oni) and amass wealth, while in modern embellishments, he even transforms himself into full adult-size. In Momotarō ("Peach Boy"), the mallet is captured from the ogres in Onigashima, alongside the kakure mino (raincoat of invisibility) and kakurekasa (hat of invisibility)
The notion that ogres possessed this prized mallet dates much earlier than the tales, which are part of the otogi-zōshi collection from the Muromachi period. It can be traced at as far back as The Tale of Heike (ca. 1240), or, if the instance of use in the work has any historicity, datable to before ca. 1118.
In folkloristics, the uchide no kozuchi is catalogued in the Stith Thompson motif index scheme under "magic hammer, D 1470.1.46".
In the legend, the one-inch tall Issun-boshi, after leaving his parents’ home, comes under the employ of a wealthy daimyō , whose daughter is an attractive princess. Although scorned for his height, he is given the job of accompanying the princess. While traveling together, they are attacked by an oni , who deals with pesky Issun-boshi by swallowing him. He defeats the Oni by pricking him from within with his needle/sword. The Oni spits out Issun-boshi and drops the 'Uchide-no-Kozuchi as he runs away. In the otogi-zōshi , he then shakes out opulent riches with the mallet and becomes a court favorite. In the better-known modernized versions, the princess uses the power of the mallet to grow him to full size. At the end of the story, Issun-bōshi and the princess are married.
The word uchi de no kozuchi literally translates to "striking-out [little] hammer",or "hammer that strikes anything out [that is desired]". In plainer speech it is understood that the hammer is to be shaken or swung.
According to the Hōbutsushū(1179), the mallet is a "wonderful treasure," such that when one goes out into a wide open field, it can be used to tap out a mansion, amusing men and women, useful servants, horse and cattle, food, and articles of clothing. However, all the items wished for reputed disappear at the sound of the bell tolling (hence the necessity of using it in a vacant field), and the moral of this Buddhist sermon-type tale (setsuwa) is that this is no treasure after all.
In The Tale of Heike is an anecdote whereby a strangely outfitted person moving about in the night, is mistaken for an ogre ( oni ), and his kindling wood mistaken for the uchide no kozuchi, attesting to the belief even then that this was a treasure reputedly owned by the ogres. The anecdote occurs in scroll 6 of Heike, under the chapter on Gion no nyōgo(Lady Gion). One night, near Gion Shrine, a figure is witnessed seemingly with hair like a bed of silver needles, and something glowing in his hand, which people feared to be an ogre, carrying the uchide no kozuchi for which these demon-kind beings are famous. The imperial guardsman Tadamori was ordered to investigate, and he discovered it was just a priest trying to illuminate a light in the chapel. The priest had put straws in his head to prevent getting damp. The same anecdote also occurs in the Genpei jōsuiki , which states that the priest was blowing on the embers in an earthenware container to keep it from going out, and when he did the straws on his head would illuminate and appear like silver needles. If this was a historical event, it happened sometime before or around the time when Kiyomori (born 1118) was conceived by the Lady Nyogo, who was then mistress to Retired Emperor Shirakawa, and Kiyomori's putative father Tadamori being the guardsman sent on the oni-hunt; but the tale is likely a "fable about Kiyomori's royal parentage".
It has been observed that the treasures of the oni in the later tale of Momotarō incorporated this older lore about treasures the ogres possessed.It has been observed that the same set of treasures as Momotarō's oni, or practically so, are described in The Tale of Hōgen , regarding Minamoto no Tametomo traveling to Onigashima island. Tametomo discovers that the islanders claimed to be descendants of oni, and named their now-lost treasures as the "cloak of invisibility, the hat of invisibility, floating shoes, sinking shoes, and sword" in some texts, and in older variant texts (Nakai codex group) one treasure is uchide no kutsu (shoes of wishing), a likely scribal error for uchide no kozuchi according to scholars.
Urashima Tarō is the protagonist of a Japanese fairy tale, who in a typical modern version is a fisherman rewarded for rescuing a turtle, and carried on its back to the Dragon Palace (Ryūgū-jō) beneath the sea. There he is entertained by the princess Otohime as a reward. He spends what he believes to be several days with the princess, but when he returns to his home village, he discovers he has been gone for at least 100 years. When he opens the forbidden jewelled box (tamatebako), given to him by Otohime on his departure, he turns into an old man.
Yōkai are a class of supernatural monsters and spirits in Japanese folklore. The word 'yōkai' is composed of the kanji for "bewitching; attractive; calamity" and "apparition; mystery; suspicious." Yōkai are also referred to as ayakashi (あやかし), mononoke (物の怪) or mamono (魔物). Yokai are not literally demons in the Western sense of the word, but are instead spirits, whose behaviour can range from malevolent or mischievous to friendly, fortuitous, or helpful to humans. The nearest or equivalent definition for yōkai in Western world should be "spectre/specter".
Issun-bōshi is the subject of a fairy tale from Japan. This story can be found in the old Japanese illustrated book Otogizōshi. Similar central figures and themes are known elsewhere in the world, as in the tradition of Tom Thumb in English folklore.
An oni is a kind of yōkai, demon, ogre, or troll in Japanese folklore. They are typically portrayed as hulking figures with one or more horns growing out of their heads. Stereotypically, they are conceived of as red, blue or white-colored, wearing loincloths of tiger pelt, and carrying iron kanabō clubs. This is a symbol of the dark side.
Momotarō is a popular hero of Japanese folklore. His name translates as Peach Tarō, a common Japanese masculine name, and is often translated as Peach Boy. Momotarō is the title of various books, films and other works that portray the tale of this hero.
The Tale of the Heike is an epic account compiled prior to 1330 of the struggle between the Taira clan and Minamoto clan for control of Japan at the end of the 12th century in the Genpei War (1180–1185). Heike (平家) refers to the Taira (平), hei being the Sino-Japanese reading of the first Chinese character. Note that in the title of the Genpei War, "hei" is in this combination read as "pei" and the "gen" (源) is the first kanji used in the Minamoto clan's name.
Tsuchigumo is a historical Japanese derogatory term for renegade local clans, and also the name for a race of spider-like yōkai in Japanese folklore. Alternate names for the mythological Tsuchigumo include yatsukahagi (八握脛) and ōgumo. In the Kojiki and in Nihon Shoki, the name was phonetically spelled with the four kanji 都知久母, and these words were frequently used in the fudoki of Mutsu, Echigo, Hitachi, Settsu, Bungo and Hizen as well as others.
Otogi-zōshi (御伽草子) refers to a group of about 350 Japanese prose narratives written primarily in the Muromachi period (1392–1573). These illustrated short stories, which remain unattributed, together form one of the representative literary genres of the Japanese medieval era.
Famicom Mukashibanashi: Shin Onigashima, often simply referred to as Shin Onigashima, is an adventure game developed by Nintendo R&D4 and Pax Softnica and published by Nintendo. It was first released on two disk cards for the Family Computer Disk System. The first disk was released on September 4, 1987, while the second disk was released September 30, 1987. The driving force behind the series, Tatsuya Hishida of Nintendo EAD, was responsible for directing the game, creating the characters, and crafting the storyline.
Kamen Rider Den-O is the seventeenth installment in the popular Kamen Rider Series of tokusatsu programs. It is a joint collaboration between Ishimori Productions and Toei. It premiered January 28, 2007 on TV Asahi, and concluded airing on January 20, 2008. Its lead actor Takeru Satoh is the first Kamen Rider Series lead born in the Heisei period of Japanese history.
Kazuo Hasegawa was a Japanese film and stage actor. He appeared in over 300 films between 1927 and 1963.
Cho Kamen Rider Den-O & Decade Neo Generations the Movie: The Onigashima Warship is the fourth tokusatsu superhero film adaptation of the popular Kamen Rider Series Kamen Rider Den-O, following Kamen Rider Den-O: I'm Born!, Kamen Rider Den-O & Kiva: Climax Deka, and Saraba Kamen Rider Den-O: Final Countdown. The Onigashima Warship is the first of the films to be part of the Cho-Den-O Series, a new multimedia franchise featuring the characters of Den-O and many new characters. It opened in theaters on May 1, 2009. In its first week in theaters, it opened at #4, after GOEMON at #3, Red Cliff Part II at #2, and Detective Conan: The Raven Chaser at #1. Like its previous film Kamen Rider Den-O & Kiva: Climax Deka, its plot focuses more on Cho Den-O, although the characters of Decade give support to them.
The Okami-san series is a collection of Japanese light novels by Masashi Okita, with illustrations by Unaji. The series started with the release of the first volume in August 2006 titled Okami-san & her Seven Companions, and as of January 2011, 12 volumes have been published by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. A manga adaptation by Kurumi Suzushiro started serialization in the April 2010 issue of ASCII Media Works' shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Daioh. A 12-episode anime adaptation by J.C.Staff aired in Japan on AT-X between July 1 and September 16, 2010, and has been licensed and dubbed into English by Funimation Entertainment to be aired on American network television and released to DVD. The English-dubbed version of the anime adaptation was subsequently licensed and distributed by Madman Entertainment and Manga Entertainment to Australia and the United Kingdom, respectively.
The kasha is a Japanese yōkai that steals the corpses of those who have died as a result of accumulating evil deeds.
Ibaraki-dōji is an oni featured in tales of the Heian period. In the tales, Ibaraki-dōji is based on Mount Ōe, and once went on a rampage in Kyoto. The "Ibaraki" in his name may refer to Ibaraki, Osaka; "dōji" means "child", but in this context is a demon offspring. Ibaraki-dōji was the most important servant of Shuten-dōji.
Shuten-dōji is a mythical oni or demon leader of Japan, who according to legend was killed by the hero Minamoto Raikō. Although decapitated, the demon's detached head still took a bite at the hero, who avoided death by wearing multiple helmets stacked on his head.
A Kibi dango, is a type of wagashi sweet or snack with an eponymous reference to Kibi-no-kuni, an old province roughly coincident with today's Okayama Prefecture. It is made by forming gyūhi, a sort of soft mochi, into flat round cakes. Glutinous rice, starch, syrup and sugar are the basic ingredients. It is manufactured by some fifteen confectioners based in Okayama City. While perhaps originally made from kibi, the modern recipe uses little or no millet, and substantively differs from kibi dango of yore, famous from the Japanese heroic folk tale of Momotarō or "Peach Boy"; nevertheless, "Kibi dango" continues to be represented as being the same as the folk hero Peach Boy's dumpling.
Kibi dango is Japanese dumpling made from the meal or flour of the kibi grain. The treat was used by folktale-hero Momotarō to recruit his three beastly retainers, in the commonly known version of the tale.
"Kobutori Jiisan" literally "Lump-removing Old Man" is a Japanese Folktale about an old man who lost his lump after joining a party of demons (oni) celebrate and dance for a night.
Heike Tsuruginomaki, also called Heike Monogatari Tsuruginomaki (平家物語剣巻) is a Japanese gunki monogatari.