Vintage Japanese Miniature Traditional Kokeshi Toys | “Mame-omocha” from a Childs Toy Box

Sale price$45.00

Dimensions: 1-13/8”h; 1-1/4”h; 1-6/8”h; 1/2”h; 5/8”h

These Five (5) miniature toys are Lathe turned from soft, dogwood and hand-painted in full detail: Two dolls are bobbleheads, one is signed Traditional Zao Family Kokeshi by Mito, Hiroshi, and two Koma (spinning tops), and all are similar to miniature objects typically found in a child’s toy box. A proud tradition of making small, intricately detailed objects by hand, each delicately handmade by artisans, demonstrates the Japanese passion for craftsmanship with an emphasis on precision and skill. These miniature objects show fine details and shimmering colors and symbolize a respected Japanese tradition.

The government of the time issued a decree encouraging a modest and frugal lifestyle, with the result that large dolls and toys were banned as luxuries. Thus, the people of Edo (modern-day Tokyo) devised clever ways to create things that were scaled down in size but just as fun as the real thing, and the culture of miniatures was born.

Miniature mania first swept Japan in the early 17th century with the emergence of tiny toys called mame-omocha (literally meaning "bean toys" although not necessarily made from beans) and Edo-shogangu (small toys from Edo). In Japan, appreciation for tiny things has long been part of the culture, and it's common for people to set small things down and admire their beauty up close and collect them for their children. Japanese miniature culture constantly evolves thanks to the enduring passion for creating things that are 'scaled down in size but just as fun as the real thing' and the incredible handiwork of some highly skilled creators. New forms of miniatures continue to appear alongside the traditional ones being offered and continue to delight collectors all around the world.

Condition: Excellent and original condition retaining their original craft/workmanship showing and is commensurate with age. The piece meets all the standards of Traditional Kokeshi styling.