This essay traces the transformations of Japan's self-image through the figure of Minamoto no Yoshitsune. As Japan in the late 600s replaced its name granted by China—"the land of dwarfs"—with "the land of harmony," its desire to positively repackage its smallness illuminates how the "short and ugly" Yoshitsune in Heike monogatari (fourteenth century) morphed into a "small but beautiful" youth by the fifteenth century. Furthermore, the modern imperial regime repurposed the child Yoshitsune (Ushiwaka-maru) for propaganda by inundating children's media with the image of Ushiwaka-maru fighting Benkei, which symbolized the "small but mighty" Japan subjugating the massive "West."