Antique Japanese Kobe Daruma Toy | Kobe Kobi Toy

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Dimensions: 1-3/8”h x 1-1/4” dia

For sale is a beautiful Antique Japanese bone or ivory-faced Kobe Doll in the form of a Daruma doll from the Meiji Period. This doll has two three-dimensional eyes and a red tongue. The Daruma doll is made of carved hardwood and detailed wearing a cloak and cowl. The piece has a round base so that it will always return to an upright position when knocked over. In Japanese, a roly-poly toy is called okiagari, meaning to get up (oki) and arise (agari).

Pieces of this type 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. 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 antique toys remain quite rare and collected by Kobekko and sailors in port in the 1940s.

Condition: Every good condition exhibits an aged patination and meticulous care, no scratches, no damage with minimal imperfections related to daily use. The two eyes and red tongue are fixed and no longer pop in and out, and most likely because of use and age but all are intact adding to the wonderful character of this toy. “As is” meaning the object has not been cleaned or restored and retains the original craftsmanship.