Antique Japanese steel ring fighting top (kenkagoma). When I showed a similar top to my Japanese father-in-law (mid 70s) his face lit up as he began telling me how as a boy he and his friends would stage exciting fighting top competitions on the street in front of their home (rural farming community without much car traffic). Fighting tops are a special variety of spinning top (tops in general are called koma) made of solid metal or wood with a steel ring around the outer edge. The tops are “thrown” after a long string is wound around the body; and some skill is necessary to give a top a proper spin and to cause it to land within range of an opponent’s top. Once engaged, a pair of fighting tops will crash and bang into one another until a victor is declared when either one top stops moving or has been pushed outside the designated game area.
About the Listed Item
The antique kenkagoma steel ring fighting top offered here is in good condition though the wooden body of the top is quite darkened from age and the steel ring is a bit rusty. This top dates from the early to mid Japanese Showa period (1926-1989).
A tip from grandpa Suzuki: My wife’s father points out that the a kenkagoma’s steel ring may sometimes come loose from the wooden body. He notes that when he was a boy and this happened he and his friends would place the top in water for a short while in order to cause the wooden body to swell and thus reseat the ring.
Height: 2.1 inches (5.5 centimeters)
Diameter: 2.0 inches (5.0 centimeters)
Weight: 3.8 ounces (109 grams)
item code: R3S4B5-0003710
ship code: L1650