鯉のり金太 (Kinta riding a koi)

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Title:

鯉のり金太 (koinori kinta)
Kinta riding a koi

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This is not a top but a pulling roller toy. The toy depicts Kintarō, a semi-legendary figure in Japanese folktales, who is said to be a child born of superhuman strength and great bravery. It is customary to put out dolls of Kintarō on Boy’s Day (now Children’s Day) in the hope that young boys will become equally strong and brave. Special carp streamers (koinobori) are also flown on this day, and in popular imagery, a number of famous prints show Kintarō wrestling a giant koi, so the two often appear together.

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Hiroi Michiaki: This is also a toy. This is Kinta riding a koi, and this isn’t a top, but a toy you pull along with the string.

Mrs. Hiroi: Yeah.

Hiroi: This koi looks like it’s swimming like this.

Mrs. Hiroi: It spins like it’s swimming.

Hiroi: And Kintarō’s carrying a broadaxe, this… what is this…? What should I call this?

Mrs. Hiroi: Kintarō.

Hiroi: A mallet… What was this called? I forgot the name. Anyway, the hammer is really huge.

 

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