Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

Japanese Traditional Toys

Photo: Jzee on Flickr

Japanese Traditional Toys

Sanny Soedjatmiko Hartanto

First of all, I want to say that nowadays, our children prefer to play with modern toys or electronic toys rather with traditional toys. Maybe I can say that not all of them prefer to play with modern toys, but maybe about 75% of our children prefer the modern toys now. So, how about our traditional toys or traditional playing? If we do not introduce them to children, they will just keep playing with these modern toys, and nobody will know about our traditional games in the future. With this article, I want to introduce you about the Japanese traditional toys that Japanese children love.


Digital Capture
Photo : Ashley Van Haeften on Flickr
Do you love to play badminton? Yes, this game is similar to badminton. The first difference is they played it without a net. In badminton, we use racket to smash the shuttlecock, at this game, they will not use racket, but they will use “Hagoita”. “Hagoita” is a rectangular wooden paddle. The shuttlecock is different with the shuttlecock that we used for playing badminton. They do not use white shuttlecock, but they use brightly colored shuttlecock. Isn’t it really interesting?
The most interesting part of this game is one of the rules. For the main rules, it is similar with badminton, but the person who fail to hit the shuttlecock back will get marked with India ink on the face. This game is really funny to play with your friends, and Japanese children usually do this game during New Year’s Eve.


Photo : Nelson Rivas on Flickr
This kind of toy consists of a daruma on top of the five different colored blocks. The goal of this game is to knock out the lower blocks without topple over the rest. They use a wooden hammer for knocking out the lower blocks. At first, I thought that this kind of game is not interesting, but after I did it, I found it really fun. I recommend you to try this game.


Photo :Kenneth on Flickr
This traditional Japanese toy consists of a sword and a ball connected by a string. I think that this toy is really well known not only at Japan but also at other countries. “Ken” means sword and “dama” means ball. No wonder that they called this toy as Kendama. At the sword part of this toy, there are 3 cups and a spike. The basic way to play this toy is to catch the ball in the cups or on the spike.


Photo : Wikipedia Commons

Do you know about the most well known anime over the world? If you have ever watched Doraemon, you will know about this toy. This toy is similar to “Takecopter” on the Doraemon anime. Actually, this toy consists of a helix, which is based to a cylinder stick. How to play this toy is really simple, that you just roll the stick with the palms of your hands. After you roll it with your palms, release your hand, and that taketombo will fly away into the sky, and “Takecopter” is the tool that Doraemon used to fly by attaching it to his head! What an interesting toy! It is usually made from bamboo.