Vintage Japanese Wooden Yajirou Acrobat Toy | Rare Tsuta Family Kijigangu Articulated Toy


Dimensions: 7-0”h x 6-1/2”w x 1-1/2”d

One rarely seen this type of original Kokeshi inspired vintage Japanese wooden toy made by a family member named Tsuta, Fumio a carver who specialize in this subject matter. This family of creators hail from the small farming village of Yajirou-machi near Kamasaki Onsen in Miyagi Prefecture, once a farming village between two, tall mountains. The kiji-shi (woodworkers), divided their time between farming and wood-craft when in the winter time the land was less productive. This type of toy is inspired from the yearly Festivals and Japanese style Circus Arts which played an invaluable impact on the street performers and circus arts in Europe and Americas during the Edo Jidda, (1600-1868). History reports that In 1864, four years before the fall of the Shogunate, Japan’s own great balancing artistes, jugglers, contortionists, top spinners, and conjurers from Tsukuba and Ibaraki in Japan greatly influenced a American Circus troupe that was allowed into Japan to perform in Yokohama. Circus performers additionally reach as far into the creative worlds of Japan influencing the Kokeshi wood carvers producing such toys as the one being sold.

These toys are made from recycled wood and painted in in a veritable rainbow of colors from the usual red and black to green, yellow and even blue and purple as seen in this toy, and all made to attract younger children in the 1950s. The figure is also detailed in the Yajirou style Rokoru mono vertical stripes running around it body. Its  head like all the Yajirou Kokeshi having the typical double eyelids and cat shaped nose with side hair fringes and colorful hair and bangs. When the knob on the side is turned the acrobat flips up and around the bar, just like a gymnast with fully moveable joints. The bar and joints of the figure is made of hand forged metal. This toy possesses the warm-heartedness of being a true treasure of a particular time in history. The figure is made of white dogwood, (Mazuki), and has the family impressed stamps on the side of the toy.

See our Vintage Japanese Toy Section: as well as our e-book entitled: A Collector’s Guide: Traditional and Creative Kokeshi and Toys:

Condition: Excellent meaning that the piece retains its original craft/workmanship and functions as intended, showing a wonderful-developed patina and is void of damage, cracks, breakage, or repairs and meets all the standards of the collectible Vintage Traditional Kokeshi Toys.