Rare, Vintage Traditional Japanese Pull Toy | Yajiro Kokeshi Doll Toy Cart | Two Brother Crying | Artist: Mamoru Tsuta | 1940

Description —

This is an older model based on the fact that ones made today are very different in design and features. Additionally, this particular type of toy, was inspired by Kokeshi doll making and are rarely found, particularly in this condition. It is fully painted, with stripes called Rokuru-moyo, and in colors that would attract any child. Each figure is painted with nicely turned features throughout the forms, with the younger brother in the cart moving in a circular motion as the toy is pulled. The ‘big brother’ pushing his sibling has a wonderful and detailed expressive Yajiro face, and in the same way, the younger brother’s face is very expressive, showing that he is upset, with tears running down his face.

The piece is stamped on the bottom with the Tsuta family name. Sakuzou, the father died in 1957. The artist of the piece is Mamoru Tsuta, (Brother), who recently died in 2009 and, just as Kokeshi craftsmen of the period, the craft was handed down from generation to generation. Fumio, son, is currently producing toys in the family name. Dimensions: 5-1/4”w x 6-1/4”d x 8-0”h.

Additional Information —

A deep-rooted cultural value for the Japanese is the concept of “wa”, which means, “group harmony”. The concept of “wa” places the common greater good at higher importance than the needs of an individual. This principle holds true throughout Japanese society, including schools, social groups, and even the workplace. Many Japanese toys and games, therefore, focus on group play and harmonious play, rather than toys and games that value the individual victory as is common in many Western toys and games

During this Golden Age, (Edo:1613-1868), Japanese toy makers focused on creating unique toys for both the domestic market. Although modern toys are immensely popular in Japan, and eventually made for an international market, traditional toys still play a significant role in the lives of most Japanese children. Often these toys are folk toys that reflect the customs, history, and legends of Japan (or a particular region of Japan). Traditional toys are particularly popular among both children and adults during the holidays of the Japanese New Year. These toys reflect the spirit and history of Japan throughout the ages.

Images of common toys such as tamari balls, tops, kites, dolls, pull-toys, and miniature models of various real-life figures and objects illustrate the beautiful skill and artistry of Japanese toy-makers. Many toys can be traced to a religious or supernatural origin, reflecting the beliefs and stories associated with Buddhism and Shintoism.


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