Grandfather Sakuzuo (1892-1957), Father Mamoru (1928-2009), and son Fumio (1944-), handed down toy making from generation to generation and have been producing for over 100 years. Son, Fumio, continues to produce and sell their creations at the Onogawa Onsen, Yamagata Prefecture, since the beginning of this family enterprise. Today we look at these folk and ethnic toys from the past with nostalgia and marvel at the engineering ability of early Japanese toy makers.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
Japanese toy makers changed the stagnant fixed toy with their amazing interactive and mechanical toys respresenting three-dimensional images of animals and children playing. The majority of the toys are pull and action figures. Early Japanese toys borrowed heavily from German techniques. However, Japanese toys, Kendama, tops, Oyako Daruma, and Battledore were usually made from recycled wood and painted in primary colors. They are derived from the lives of common people that embody the beliefs, religion, the zodiac system, folktales, festivals, aesthetics, and sense of happiness found in one’s native land. Born on Japanese soil, these handmade toys possess the warm-heartedness of being raised by the common people. Hence for the Japanophile, these unique pieces are true treasures.