Narratives are considered to be products of a certain process of constitution, typically depicted by two or three layered models (e.g. Gérard Genette’s “histoire” and “récit”). In this paper, Wolf Schmid’s four-layered theory of narrative transformations is discussed and applied to approach the expanding of text corpora relating to one specific popular topic which was a feature of popular literary culture in the Edo period. Although Schmid’s theory is rather abstract, its concept regarding a dynamic constitution of narratives may be fruitfully substantiated when used in conjunction with comparative methods. This article deals with the corpus known as “Taikōkimono”, i. e. biographical accounts of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. By comparing legends of Hideyoshi’s birth and childhood, taken from “Hoan-Taikōki”, “Ehon-Taikōki” and “Shinsho-Taikōki”, on the basis of Schmid’s categories of analysis, this paper tries to expose structural developments, continuities and changes among these narratives in particular and of the development of the Edo period’s text corpora in general.