Issun-boshi - Japanese Tom Thumb

Origin : Japan

Made of : porcelain - potery

Classification : creatures / people

Maker : ?



About "Issun-bōshi - 1 inch boy" (一寸法師 - Issun-bōshi) :

Issun-bōshi is a traditional Japanese folk tale similar to the western 'Tom thumb' story.

An old couple who can't have children want so badly to have one that they magically get a tiny boy (Issun-bōshi). Their 3cm child never grows taller. Issun-bōshi decides then to travel. With a sewing needle as sword, the tiny 'samurai' travels on a boat made of a soup bowl with chopsticks as oars. His travel will lead him to beat an Oni (demon) attacking a princess. To thank him, the princess uses a spell which gives Issun-bōshi a normal height. Issun-bōshi marries the princess.

Japanese stamp depicting Issun-bōshi defeating the Oni [source]
A triple top toy (koma) with Issun-bōshi in his bowl-boat