Yajirou Koma Tower of Spinning Tops Yajirou Koma Tower of Spinning Tops

Vintage Interactive Toys

Yajirou Koma Tower of Spinning Tops

Ooizumi, Kiyomi

Yajirou-Kei (Family)

Prefecture: Miyagi


Yajirou dolls are some of the most brightly painted of the traditional family set. Utilizing a veritable rainbow of colours, from the usual red and black, to green, yellow, and even blue and purple, they are available in probably the widest range of shapes. The creators of these dolls hail from the small farming village of Yajirou near Kamasaki Onsen in Miyagi Prefecture.

Collector's note – characteristics/painting style:

The majority of this style has distinct waists and wider bases, making them very stable. The upper body usually has a hand-painted collar with horizontal stripes encircling the body, as in the Rokoru moyo style, and vertical stripes running below the waist to the base of the doll. However, Yajirou dolls can also be found with a series of chrysanthemum petals running down the front of the body, or a branch of plum blossoms as the only decoration. Some, though, have a painted beret-like feature or a bun on their heads, similarly painted with a red center spot. Less common are Yajirou have conical hats known as Suge-Gasa. Typically seen is one lid or double eye lids, cat or pick shaped nose.

Notable artists:

Satou Denki, b. 1909
Satou Dennai, Master
Ishikawa Tokujiro, b. 1915
Niiyama Fukutaro, Master
Sato Tatsuro, b. 1928
Sato Imasaburo, Master
Hamatsu Heizaburo, b. 1933
Niiyama Sanai, MasterYajirou
Niiyama Yoshinori, b. 1960
Niiyama Yoshitaro, Grand Master