There several varieties of Japanese traditional toys, folk dolls and games. Like most toys that have been in use for long periods of time, they are simple yet still fun and great for kids to use, or for adults to join in too! I have chosen three of these toys and games to introduce to you.
Kendama is a Japanese traditional toy, which consists of a sword and ball connected by a string. At the sword’s part, there are three cups and a spike, which fits into the hole in the ball. They named it “Kendama”, because “Ken” means sword, and “Dama” means ball.
The basic way to play is to catch the ball in the cups and on the spike. It still there so many other ways to play Kendama, but the basic one is the most used. For the Kendama-addicted people in Japan, there is an association, which called Japanese Kendama Association. This association has held Kendama contest from 1979 until now.
Beigoma is a traditional Japanese spinning top toy. It is a pointy shaped toy of 3 cm in diameter. In the 17th century, this toy had become well known among Japanese people, and its popularity peaked in the first half of the 20th century. Luckily, there is “Beyblade” toy, which has caused surged their interest.
Wrap a thin 60 cm cord around the top, and throw it while releasing the cord to spin it onto a surface such as the top of the barrel, or on the ground.
Hanetsuki is a Japanese traditional game, similar to badminton. The differences are that it is played without a net, and a racket, but in instance of the racket, the players use “Hagoita” (rectangular wooden paddle), and a brightly colored shuttlecock (not white shuttlecock).
Hanetsuki game is so popular among girls during the New Year’s Eve.
There are two versions to play this game. If you want to play alone you can attempt to keep the shuttlecock aloft as long as possible. The other version to play is similar to badminton, but the one who fail to hit the shuttlecock will get marked with Indian ink on the face. If you watched the Doraemon’s series, it is so funny to see Nobita’s face get marked by Shizuka.
It is possible to buy the Japanese traditional toys in Kappabashi near Asakusa.
And if you go there, try to take a look in SUKEROKU shop where you can admire several Handmade miniature toys inspired from Edo Jidai.