The Dragon Hammer and The Tale of Oniroku • Two TYA Plays from Korean and Japanese Legend

The Dragon Hammer and The Tale of Oniroku • Two TYA Plays from Korean and Japanese Legend

Two Short Plays for Young People [and others] To Perform (TYA)

by Joanna H. Kraus

The  Dragon Hammer comes from an old fairy tale, “The Mallet of Wealth,” from the town of Ongyang in the southern section of Korea. Bang-Su, a poor boy, hunting for firewood, discovers the goblins’ magic hammer. When it brings Bang-Su boots, he rushes home to wish for rice. Lazy Chang-Gil, overhears the tale and decides to get his own hammer. Enraged goblins stretch his tongue. A chastened Chang-Gil uses the tongue to replace a broken bridge. Seeing his repentance, Bang-Su wishes the painful punishment away. A changed Chang-Gil offers to help the villagers rebuild.


The Tale of Oniroku comes from an old folk tale, “The Carpenter and Oniroku,”  from the prefecture of Iwate in the northeast section of Japan. When the village bridge breaks, the villagers beg Taro, the carpenter, to repair it. But a river ogre interferes, insisting only he can do it – in exchange for Taro’s eyes, otherwise, threatening disaster. The bridge is built. The ogre gloats. Horrified, Taro pleads for time. The ogre agrees that if Taro can guess his name in one week, he won’t snatch out his eyes. At the last possible moment, Taro discovers it.

Available below for Classroom Use, School Assembly Performance, or Public Performance.

Play Details

    • CAST OF CHARACTERS – 2m 1f 8 either (roles are very flexible in regards to gender)
    • Bang-Su, a poor boy who finds the magic hammer
      Head Goblin
      Two Other Goblins
      Chang-Gil, a silly, selfish boy
      Mountain Spirits, who play the Walnut Tree, the Mountain, and display the Sun and Moon
      Three Villagers
    • CAST OF CHARACTERS – 3m 2f 6either (roles are very flexible in regards to gender)
    • Taro, the carpenter
      Oniroku, the ogre
      Ohana, a village woman
      Aya, a village woman
      Tadashi, an elderly man, fond of food
      Mansaku, a young village man
      Three young ogres
      Three actors who represent the mountain and the trees
  • Traditional, historical Korean and Japanese costumes
  • Simple settings
  • 20 minutes each, making a 40 minute performance
  • Order #3247


  • The PERUSAL PAGES file is in PDF format and contains the first half of the play: Dragon Hammer Tale of Oniroku PERUSAL
  • Another way to peruse all of Joanna H. Kraus’ Young Audience plays is to purchase FIVE PLAYS FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES, Volume 8 in the Theatre for Young Audiences SERIESHERE for $14.95


(Any PDF purchased will be emailed to your email address — if you need to provide that to us (not the one on your PayPal account?), email us. CDs will be mailed to a snail mail address. Do not purchase rehearsal materials or pay for royalties until you have performance clearance.)

    • Script in PDF format  — Order #3190a : $15.00 (from which you will be authorized to copy for your production) (NOTE: If you plan to use this play in a classroom setting, without a performance to the parents of the children involved, or the other classes at the school or the public, we will issue a classroom license for just the purchase of this PDF script. See School Assembly Performances, below.)

    • School Assembly — Order #3190da : $10.00 each play (email us for this rate)
    • First Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3190d : $25

    • Second Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3190e : $25

  • Professional Royalties will be quoted upon application
  • Performance License Application: No production rights can be granted until this application is filled out and sent to us. This is a filler form that after you click “SUBMIT” will send directly to our email address. Response averages 2-3 business days.


  • This play was used extensively in classrooms, as Creative Drama, in Boston Massachusetts, Buffalo New York, Connecticut, and Hawaii.


The following is how the credits should read in all programs, posters, fliers, handbills and other promotional advertising for the show:

The Dragon Hammer and The Tale of Oniroku
two short plays

Joanna H. Kraus

NOTE: The names of the Playwright(s), Composer, Lyricist, and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness, and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the play. (In a press release all type, will of course, be the same size.)


The Dragon Hammer and The Tale of Oniroku is presented through special arrangement with Premiére Theatrical Licensing on behalf of Leicester Bay Theatricals.  All authorized materials are also supplied by LBT,”

From the catalog of