Uchide no Kozuchi: Traditional Japanese Good Luck Charm

Uchide no Kozuchi image

The legendary "Uchide no Kozuchi" has deep roots in Japanese culture.

It is known as a treasure that sometimes appears in folk tales, but its history goes back even deeper.

In this issue, we will take a closer look at the history and charm of this Uchide no Kozuchi.

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What is Uchide no Kozuchi?

Uchide no Kozuchi is a legendary hammer in Japanese folklore that is said to produce various things by striking.

It is one of the treasure items appearing in Japanese legends and fairy tales.

It is said to be a treasure possessed by demons or the property of Daikokuten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods, and is depicted as a symbol of wealth.

Uchide no Kozuchi is said to have the effect of producing whatever is wished for when struck after reciting a wish.

It is considered a treasure that attracts good fortune, along with the "Kakure Mino" and "Kakure Gasa" that can be worn to hide yourself.

Otogi zoshi

In the fairy tale "Issun Boshi," a demon possesses the Uchide no Kozuchi and it is defeated by Issun Boshi.

In the story, Issun Boshi uses the Uchide no Kozuchi to grow his body, produce gold and silver, and make delicious food.

This is a common theme in many versions of the fairy tale that are widely known.

Encyclopedia of Japan

The Buddhist book "Treasure Collection" written towards the end of the Heian period says that a striking mallet not only creates treasures but also everything you wish for, such as cows, horses, food, and clothes.

However, everything created by the striking mallet will be lost once you hear the sound of the bell, and in the end, these are not things that can be considered real treasures in this world.

Daikokuten's belongings

Uchide no Kozuchi is believed to be the possession of Daikokuten, who was considered to be a god in Japan and is often depicted holding a hammer.

It's not clear how the depiction of Daikokuten holding a hammer came about.

Uchide no Kozuchi's old tale

The uchi no kozuchi is one of the treasures belonging to demons in Japanese folktales and folklore.

It is said that a person visiting the other world receives it as a gift from an ogre, and when he or she makes a wish and shakes it, the wished-for object will appear.

On the other hand, there are also episodes in which a neighbor with evil intentions disguised himself as a demon, chanted a wish, and shook it, only to have something different appear and cause him pain.

For example, in the folk tales from Takaoka-gun, Kochi Prefecture, and Nagashima-cho, Kagoshima Prefecture, there is a story about an honest person who is presented with an "uchide no kozuchi" from the dragon's palace.

Also, in the story of "Momotaro," a scene is depicted in which an "uchiide no kozuchi" obtained on Onigashima Island is used to bring out various treasures.

Uchide no Kozuchi in Heike Monogatari

In an ancient Japanese literary work called "The Tale of the Heike," there is an episode called "Gion no Nyogo."

In this episode, it is said that there was a rumor that a demon, with something that looked like Uchide no Kozuchi in his hand, appeared in the neighborhood where the Gion no Nyogo lived.

But in reality, it turned out to be an oil-supplying priest who was working to pass a lamp in his hand.

This episode shows that the demon with the "Uchide no Kozuchi" was well known.

Uchide no Kozuchi in Hogen Monogatari

In "The Tale of Hōgen," there is also an episode in which demons are asked about lost treasures from the place where they live.

And it is assumed that the "Uchide no Kozuchi" was added to the treasures possessed by the demons from such an episode.

In some book lines, the treasure is named "Uchide-no- Ri (shoes)."

Scholarly image

Isn't "Uchide no Kozuchi" a typo?

It is believed that.

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