Tops - Japanese, Koma, Wood Object Reg. No: HT 14076

These small wooden spinning tops painted red, purple and green are called 'koma' in Japanese. They were 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 tops form 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.
The three tops are still in their original plastic packaging with a yellow label bearing Japanese print attached.These tops are made of wood. They each consist of a small wooden spike which pierces a round body. The bodies of the tops are painted with stripes. One top has a thick red stripe and thin purple stripes. One has a thick purple stripe and thin red stripes. Another has a thick green stripe and thin purple stripes.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Masumi Hiraga, 2007
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 3 cm (Length), 2.5 cm (Diameter)
Dimension Comment: size of each top

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
Inscriptions: Black ink on yellow paper. Untranslated Japanese print accompanied by diagram of top 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);; Traditional Toys of Japan (Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, 1979).

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