Tops – Koma Tops – Koma

Tops – Koma

Yajirou Containers with mini Tops

The simple shapes and beautiful harmony of colors is what attracts us to Koma, a traditional Japanese game toy. The spinning top was a folk craft used as a toy, but also a traditional art perfected by the Japanese. As a kind of quip, the elegant spinning motion of the toy symbolizes “circulation of money” ”smooth work”, and “being quick-witted”.

Historically, it was in the Nara period that tops came into existence in Japan. It is said that they came to Japan through the Korean Peninsula, or perhaps appeared spontaneously in Japan. It is said that fortune-tellers called “koma-byoushi” told fortunes by circulating spinning tops in ceremonies held by the court.

There are many kinds of tops in Japan. Tops popular in the Edo period traditionally had five colors. Each of them has its own meaning; red represents health, black- power, yellow- wealth, green- harvest, and purple- nobility. They vary in color, shape, and size, depending on the region they come from, and all have unique characteristics.

Tougatta Hand Twist Koma | Hiroi, Masaaki | 1935 Tougatta Hand Twist Koma | Hiroi, Masaaki | 1935

Tougatta Hand Twist Koma | Hiroi, Masaaki | 1935