Antique Japanese Kobe Daruma Toy | Kobe Kobi Toy

Sale price$85.00

Dimensions: 1-5/8”h x 1-1/2” dia

For sale is a beautiful Antique hand-carved out of Boxwood (Tsugenoki) with an expressive face made of Red Cinnabar representing Daruma from the Meiji Period. The piece has a round base which means that it can shake from side to side and always return to its central position. Also when tilted the eyes and tongue move in and out to give life to the figure. 

They were once as well-known as the port itself. The Kobe Dolls were sold at souvenir shops on Motomachi Shopping Street near Nunobiki Waterfall where tourists gathered. Their jocular facial expressions attracted the attention of Kobekko and tourists. This Kobe doll was made to have three retractable elements, these are the eyes and tongue that project forwards when shaken.

Kobe Toys of this type are typically Japanese based on religious beliefs at the time and not much is known about them. This is only one type of toy that was created and hand-made during the Meiji period in Japan and toys that are quite rare and were sold as souvenirs at the docks where the sailers in port arrived on foreign ships. 

Condition: Exceptional condition exhibiting an aged patination and meticulous care, no scratches, no damage with minimal imperfections related to daily use. The two eyes pop out more easily than the tongue which is most likely because of use and age. “As is” meaning the object has not been cleaned or restored and retains the original craftsmanship.