NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2006/12/15

独楽遊び Koma-asobi Top spinning

Jp En


Japan is probably ahead of many other countries in the variety of spinning tops in terms of the shape and structure. There are many ways of spinning and competing that have been handed down from the old times. You can spin a top by pinching the stem with your thumb and fingers and twirl it, by twirling with your palms, by winding a string around the top and throwing it to unwind the string, or by lifting up a top with thread wound around the stem and hitting the top against the floor. Which way to choose depends on the type of tops. You can also play games with tops in several ways including the game in which the strength of the top is contested by hitting the tops against each other, the one in which the elapsed time of the rotation is competed, or the competition in which the spinning skills are contested. If you play with a top by yourself, you can enjoy the changes of the shape or patterns of a top in rotation, or the sound made by the mechanism inside a top. In Japan there are also many kinds of acrobatic top performances such as spinning a top on a parasol or tightrope spinning.

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