This top depicts a popular doll figure in Japanese and Chinese culture, Fukusuke. Fukusuke figures in Japan go back to around the nineteenth century (Edo period), where they were often enshrined at brothels and tea houses as bringers of good luck. Their use has since widened. Fukusuke figures are typically shown to be sitting in traditional seiza position while prostrating themselves. Hiroi-sensei has made this figure so that the head and katana disconnect from the torso to form two tops.
Hiroi Michiaki: And this is “prostration.” This is Fukusuke [a bringer of good luck]. Fukusuke goes like this and is prostrating himself. And he takes this, this is a katana. You take the head, the head becomes a top, and you take the torso like this–
Mrs Hiroi: Yeah. You put all of it together.
Hiroi: It becomes two tops and you spin them.