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"Story of Inch-High Samurai (Issun Boshi)"

Once upon a time, there lived a good-hearted, honest and hardworking old couple in a small village. They were praying to the God of Sumiyoshi Shinto shrine for a child that they had been longing for and one day they were blessed with a baby boy. As the boy was only 1 inch (2.54cm) high and never grew up over the years, the old couple named him "Inch-High Samurai (Issun Boshi)".

One day, Inch-High Samurai said to his parents that he would like to go to the capital city to become an honorable samurai and asked for their permission, so that he would be able to support the livelihood of his deprived parents. He set out to go down a river, equipped with a soup bowl instead of a boat, a chopstick instead of an oar and a needle instead of a sword. As soon as he arrived in the capital city, he found a huge fine samurai residence where he successfully landed a job. As he worked hard, the master accepted him as a loyal retainer.

One day, when he accompanied the master's daughter on a trip to a Shinto shrine, an ogre came out of nowhere and tried to abduct the daughter. While Inch-High Samurai was trying to keep her from the ogre, it picked him up and swallowed. However, when he pricked the ogre's stomach from within with a needle, it roared in pain, begged him to stop and surrendered. As soon as it spat out Inch-High Samurai, it ran away to escape to a mountain, leaving its "Miracle Mallet" behind.

When Inch-High Samurai swung the "Miracle Mallet" wishing that he would grow taller, his prayers were answered and he became a handsome young man. He and the master's daughter were united in a marriage. Thereafter, as he swung the mallet repeatedly, gold and silver treasures came out of it. He used this to support his parents and to help those in need. His family prospered and lived happily ever after.

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