Vintage Japanese Kijigangu / Edo Koma top Dice Game by the Hirai Family Vintage Japanese Kijigangu / Edo Koma top Dice Game by the Hirai Family

Antique Spinning Tops

Vintage Japanese Kijigangu / Edo Koma top Dice Game by the Hirai Family

$75.00

Age:Early 1970s

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 4-1/2”h x 1-3/4”dia (including shaft and top)

Brightly colored with purple and red, this is a type of folk toy called Edo Goma, (Tokyo sale top). The larger piece has a fixed sharp-tipped element for the top to be placed and spun. This is a novelty Koma derived originally from tops used for stunts and tricks during the Edo period (1603-1867) and the set is a type of dice game. When the smaller carved top is placed on the sharp tip of the base and spun, it will spin nicely and then g gradually come to a stop while the tip of the top points to one of the six numbered  Pips which are small dots that are carved into the top of the base. The numbered dots are arranged like those on dice with the numbers from one to six. The piece is unsigned.

Condition: Excellent and original workmanship. This top is surprisingly easy to turn and the excellent craftsmanship is evident in the well-balanced and spins smoothly.  Totally complete with all working elements.

NOTE: In the mid-Meiji period (1868-1912), a craftsman who was a member of the Hirai Family learned wooden making from the original craftsman from the Hakone region and made themselves known as the wooden spinning tip maker of Tokyo. From the Meiji to the Taisho period (1912-1926), he had produced many uniquely designed novelty tops and his tops became very popular with the Japanese population. He moved to Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture after WWII, but both Tokyo Hirai and Sendai Harai families continued to produce over 100 different novelty tops now known as Edo Goma (Koma). There are b basically three types of tops. There are basically three types of tops: (1) Itohiki Goma, the tops that are turned using strings,; (2) Hineri Goma, the tops that can be turned using fingertips like this particular piece; and (3) Momi Goma, the tops using both palms to turn.