Vintage Japanese Edo-Koma Spinning Top by Hiroi Brothers (Tougatta Family)

Sale price$45.00

Dimensions: 6-1/2”h x 4-1/2”dia.

Hiroi, Masaaki, ((1935-2019) created many kinds of Edo tops which have a particular way of spinning. He did not create just traditional forms [of tops] but also came up with new technical forms to accentuate a “beautiful” spin. He particularly used wood from Tōhoku which was of high quality complimentary of his competition-type forms for which this is one of the tops that was given as an award. Hiroi died in 2019 and was named an honorary citizen of Seattle, Washington.

Koma Top Competitions have been around for many years and continue to this day. In these competitions which happen throughout Japan, all ages compete to see how long their tops can keep spinning, as they shout "Ikinaga Shomon Shokurabe" (means to "shout with joy, approval, or enthusiasm). It is said that the long-lasting spin could mean "a long healthy life", and a strong spinning movement could mean "good luck with money”. This extremely large Koma was created as Presentation Award for the winner of one of the Japan Edo Spinning Top Competitions, (which got its name after the City of Edo (now Tokyo). The top was made by one of the Masaaki brothers, (Michiyaki), not signed and is not for spinning (invitations to the elite top makers asking for submittals for display awards each year). This piece was only made for display acknowledging the winner of the competition. No other information was available or if the top was ever awarded.

This top is made of solid hardwood and is a heavy (not hollow) with vertical point (peg) at both the top and crown. It has a perfectly formed crown, (The crown is often the part you hold with your fingers to spin the top shoulder and body). The top is painted grooved circles highlighted in red, yellow and green which is also surrounds its sides. The Koma has an excellent “hand” or “touch”. 

You can read more about Masaaki’s family in our BLOG by going to: https://mingeiarts.com/collections/artisan-interactive-toymaker-hiroi-masaaki-1935

Condition: Excellent meaning the piece is perfect, totally original, and complete and functions as intended. No cracks, no breaks, no missing pieces, and retains its wonderful presence and is previously protected and treasured in respect of Masaaki’s and his brothers workmanship. The artifact meets all the standards of the collectible Vintage Kokeshi toys and tops and without question a unique treasure for the Japanese Koma collector.