Cryptomundo discusses evidence, including tiny tools and bizarre pit dwellings, that supports legends of tiny elfin people living on the island of Hokkaido:
A commonly occurring phenomenon seen in the folklore and myth of a wide range of cultures throughout the world is the existence of miniature humanoid creatures [Faeries, dwarves, leprechauns, or by whatever other names they are known].
On the island of Hokkaido, in the cold northern reaches of the Japanese archipelago, the indigenous Ainu people too have their long traditions of an ancient race of dwarf-like people thought to have inhabited the land long before humans arrived. The Ainu knew these creatures as the Koropokkuru…most commonly translated as “the people who live under the burdock leaves.” Most commonly Koropokkuru are described as being rather hairy and odiferous.
Was there any truth to any of these stories of small, humanoid creatures living in the wilds of Hokkaido, and if so what were they?
There has been some scattered evidence proposed over the years. Archeologists have found evidence of strange pit dwellings all over Japan that are consistent with the stories of the Koropokkuru dwellings, but not consistent with the Ainu, who have always lived in thatched houses. These pits have often been found to contain stone implements not typical of the Ainu, as well as mysterious tools that seem too small to be comfortable or efficient for normal human-sized hands.
Another archeological find that has been used in the past to support the existence of the Koropokkuru was made in 1877 by Edward S. Morse, one of the first to conduct proper archeological investigations in Japan. At a site known as the Ōmori shell mound, Morse found an array of anthropologically significant pottery in that it did not fit in with what was known about Ainu culture.
Many cultures around the world have long reported the existence of half-sized, hairy hominids lurking in the wilds of the world. These undersize hominids are known to many cryptozoologists as “Proto-Pygmies.” The possible existence of such seemingly fantastical creatures got a shot in the arm with the discovery of remains of a race of miniature hominids found on Flores Island in the Indonesian archipelago.
Research done on the relatively complete remains of a female specimen referred to as LB1, or the “Little Lady of Flores,” has shown that this full grown adult stood at a height of just 106cm (3 ft 11inches). It has also been established that these creatures were not merely dwarfed regular humans, but rather representatives of a completely new species of diminutive hominins. Perhaps just as surprising as the existence of these creatures is that specimens found thus far have been dated as being 90,000 to 18,000 years old, which makes them contemporaneous with modern humans.
Is it possible that Homo floresiensis, or their ancestors, possibly Homo erectus, spread out throughout Oceania and evolved in isolation into the many kinds of Proto-Pygmies reported today from these far flung places? If so, could such creatures not have made it to other parts of the Pacific as well, including Japan?