かえるの相撲 (frog sumō)

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Title:

かえるの相撲 (kaeru no sumō)
“frog sumo“

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This set of tops forms two frogs on a lotus leaf engaging in a sumo match. Each of the frogs can be removed from the lotus leaf base to become individual tops. This playful theme is a popular one, which is even believed to have been represented in the famous 12-13th century Chōjū jinbutsu giga handscroll (seen below), which is thought to have one section that depicts anthropomorphic frogs and rabbits challenging each other to sumo.

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Hiroi Michiaki: And… This is.. Ah. A frog. Frog sumo.

Mrs. Hiroi:   A frog sumo match.

HM:   The frog’s on a lotus leaf…              

MH: They’re lined up [on the shelves] in the shop.

HM:   On top of a leaf the frogs have a sumo match. Mm. They’re tops.  …There’s not really much to say. (laughs)

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