Posted by: softypapa | February 1, 2008

Antique Fighting Top – Japanese Steel Ring Kenkagoma

Antique Fighting Top Japanese Steel Ring Kenkagoma Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Fighting Top Japanese Steel Ring Kenkagoma Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Fighting Top Japanese Steel Ring Kenkagoma Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Fighting Top Japanese Steel Ring Kenkagoma Japan Tokaido Softypapa 


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)

Click here to see more tops!
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

item code: R3S4B5-0003710
ship code: L1650



  1. That’s so interesting. It’s funny how some toys originated from being weapons. Like the yo-yo 🙂

  2. Is it just me, or does the lettering on the side look like Hebrew? I see an Ayin and a Resh (or the bottom of a Lamed) in just the first two letters (in Hebraic order).

  3. Yes, except this top didn’t originate as a weapon.

  4. That sounds like a badass hobby. Better than Pogs, at least.

  5. @travelnooks:

    Yeah… the gyroscope, beloved toy of countless of Discovery Store child shoppers and inner soul of the Segway, was originally a quantum weapon used to repel time travelers. Back in the 1800’s, they started making them out of solid silver so they’d work on vampires and werewolves too.

    The more you know!


  6. Japan’s authentic god is Susanoo who is brother of Amaterasu.And he was the knig of Izumo where many high-grade steel made in ancient era.
    But now also High performance steel is made in that area.Tamahagane which is raw material of samurai sword is made there still now.And also famous high-tech steel maker Hitachi Metals exist.It is wondeful coinside in Japan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: