Spinning Top - Japanese, Koma, Wood Object Reg. No: HT 14063

This traditional wooden spinning top with metal tip is called a 'koma' in Japanese. It was purchased by the donor in Japan in the late 1980s. Such toys were played with by children throughout Japan when the donor was growing up but are now only sold at more specialist stores. She brought the toys to Australia in her capacity as a cultural ambassador, introducing Australians to Japanese traditions. Some of these toys were previously displayed at the Children's Museum, where the donor conducted several workshops from 1989 to 1993. These workshops introduced children to playing with such toys and to making origami.

This top forms part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC).
The ACFC is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.
This top is made of wood. It has pointed base ending in a metal tip. Blue, white and red lines decorate the upper section of the main body. A small wooden spike with string wound round it is inserted into one end of the main body. This spike also pierces a circular piece of wood painted red, with a blue rounded ball on the end.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Masumi Hiraga, 2007
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 7.5 cm (Length), 4.8 cm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: children s play, early childhood development, games, japanese toys, toys, making history - australian childrens folklore
Themes this item is part of: Australian Children's Folklore Collection, Childhood & Youth Collection, Leisure Collection, Migration Collection, Masumi Hiraga Jackson, Japanese Migrant, 1985
Primary Classification: GAMES & TOYS
Secondary Classification: Action Games
Tertiary Classification: spinning
Place & Date Made: Japan, 1985-1990
Collector: Mrs Masumi Hiraga
References: Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopaedia(Kodansha Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, 1993); Japan at a Glance (Kodansha International Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, 1997); http://www.boston.us.emb-japan.go.jp/eng/teaching/trad_toys.html; Traditional Toys of Japan (Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, 1979).

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