One-Sun Boy: A Japanese Folktale


Once there was an old man and woman. They wanted a baby. The woman prayed. She asked for a baby, no matter how small. Soon after, they had a baby. But the baby was very small. He was the size of a sun. A sun was a kind of a Japanese coin. It was one inch high. Because of this, the couple called him One-Sun Boy.

One-Sun Boy got older, but he did not grow taller. He stayed the same size. He felt like he lived in a world of giants. He did not feel like he had a place in it. He wanted to become a samurai. That is a kind of warrior.

One-Sun Boy left his parents. He took a bowl as his boat. He took chopsticks as his paddles. He took a needle as his sword. He rowed down the river to the city.

One-Sun Boy found a job in the city. He worked for a rich lord. The rich man had a pretty daughter. She was a princess. One-Sun Boy became friends with her.

One day, One-Sun Boy and the princess took a walk. They walked in the woods. They came upon an oni. An oni is a monster. The oni wanted the princess. One-Sun Boy tried to save her. He stabbed the oni in the foot with his sword. The oni found this annoying. The oni picked up One-Sun Boy. He swallowed him in one gulp. Then the oni tried to grab the princess. But he suddenly froze.

One-Sun Boy was inside the oni’s stomach. He began to stab the oni with his sword.

The oni started to yell. “Please stop. Ow! It hurts! Stop, stop! I beg you.”

One-Sun Boy did not stop. The oni had no choice but to spit him out. Then the oni ran away for he became very afraid of One-Sun Boy. The oni never came back to bother the city again.

One-Sun Boy was a hero. He saved the princess. From then on, he was a samurai and his new job was to protect the princess. One-Sun Boy was happy. He found his place in this world.