Saturday, March 15, 2008

Japanese Toy Designs

butterfly design

Evil man handpuppet

halloweenesque octopus

devil mask

dragon toy waters spouts

evil dragon head

evil mask

hairy evil mask

horned mask

unhappy dolls

angry toy heads on sticks

Angry man and model sketches

female doll designs

female flat dolls

flying bird toys

bird designs

hanging lanterns etc

bird and snake sketches

hanging wooden toy models

wooden toy model

horse heads

toy horse

wooden horses

male doll etc

pull toys

toy cart

toy collection

spinning tops

spinning toys

wooden toy sketches

man and woman masks

The Ningyo-Do Bunko Database has more than 100 albums of late 19th/early 20th century watercolour sketches of toy designs.

By turns scary and intriguing (much like Japanese game shows and the garbled translations below) the selection of images above comes from the sixty albums in the Kyosen Guangucho section of the website.

[previously: Toying With Japan]

"The hotel Archive "mermaid sinus library" is a nationwide Taisho and Showa folk toy in a toy depicting Koizumi Kawasaki dipper (1877-1942)[..] autograph sketch. [..] Toys are covered by more than 5000 species rapidly, with the beauty of the work now is pretty low look at the local toy as big database and valuable data. [..] This "library database sinus Mermaid" is a paperback sinus mermaid image of the entire recorded works. [..] Warm and NATSUKASHII many local toy please enjoy."
"Koizumi Kawasaki (1877-1942), ne Sueyoshi,[..]the issue. [..] Alternatively, the mermaid-dong, Hitoshi Yoshi, and make [..]issue. []25年(1892)[..]1[..] Sakai was born[..], from infant to be good at painting in the Meiji 25 years (1892), then upward Sakai had lived in the first person genre painter who Introduction Taki Yoshi Nakai. [..] And the painting has been trained to go to Tokyo, Osaka or two years to make a nurse moved under Taki Kaoru return to the婿養子become a nurse after patch, newspaper and magazine illustration, printing genre material (Osaka, attractions, etc.)[]continued.
[..]36、7[..] Meiji circa 36,7 interest from local folk toy to cherish, including the main draw as a local toy. [..] Modernization under local toy will be out of ordinary people to appreciate the beauty of the painting from nature leave, as well as a workshop sponsored by the local toy, or mermaids, and the issue of Journal of Research on the Folk学的worth pursuing.
[..] 1979 759.9-27N Note: The local toy [..]Koizumi Kawasaki[..] to hold a mass meeting, Koizumi Kawasaki 27N-1979 759.9


Jane Librizzi said...

I would love to have one of the horses, and one of the dolls, and one of each toy that I can't figure out what to to do with it! They are so charming compared to ugly contemporary plastic toys.

Dave Lovely said...

pk, what beautiful, beautiful things! If somebody made these now, and I could afford them, I'd buy the lot.

Karla said...

Well, I wasn't going to say anything since the toy designs are just wonderful and delightful and I knew I could rely on other people to say that for me, but as for the translations, I admit I am vastly curious about about the "sinus mermaid" and the "mermaid-dong." With a little doctoring, I feel certain that the translation could be made into a very fine surrealist tale ("the painting has been trained to go to Tokyo").

benmil said...

I can´t to open the link to Ningyo-do-bunro.

peacay said...

To the people whose comments I deleted:

Unless I know you I'm not very comfortable about you putting a link to your site in a comment.

As I've always understood the workings of the weblog world, if you make a compelling enough comment, people will want to click through to your profile and track down your homepage.

But at best it feels a little bit unclassy and at worst, kind of spammy to type 20 letters and then drop in a self link.

I retain the right to be arbitrary and inconsistent, as is my wont.

meighan said...

pk, i love gorgeous. i'm esp drawn to the horses.

(p.s. i completely agree on comments...i've gotten a lot like that recently. from seemingly kind peeps, who just don't know better and really weird ones from spammers, saying things like 'hehehe' w/ a link to buy cigarettes. so weird.)

peacay said...

Oh, I thought you would like these Meighan: they really do fall into the 'outsider cute' realm, where I place your fair site.
It's luck all the horses stayed: I edited out about 20 images from the initial selection and was tossing up whether one of the horse pics should go. I ended up thinking 'the more the merrier' rather than having to choose between them.

CmdrAndreyasn said...

One design is pretty close to a bobbing head turtle my sister bought recently. Some designs are timeless.

pita ou franck said...

OOOOh !!! thanks for those wonderfull japanese toys book (I open all pages last nigth!)

ellyy said...

I know nothing about Japanese culture (I'd be curious to know the stories behind them all) but I can't help but be drawn to their charm... no matter how frightening some of them seem!

These are beyond wonderful, thank you so much for sharing them peacay!

lotusgreen said...

they're so wonderful pk--i'm so happy to see more! at least there's not a big scary cat one this time.

although i gotta say--i'm seeing "native american" when i look at anything this week, and this is no exception. particularly that totem pole up top. ;^)

peacay said...

at least there's not a big scary cat one this time

I'm sure I could have found one. It must have been (still is?) quite weird growing up as a Japanese child with half your toys being fun, happy things and the other half causing nightmares.

raquel said...


superb, these Japanese toy design! I have loved the two octopus (in real life I am very afraid of octopuses!)


pRiyA said...

these watercolour sketches are exquisite! thank you.

Michael said...

An exquisite selection. Thanks Peacay. :)

Audra Phillips said...

These are delightful! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Lego togbaner Når det kommer till ego

togbaner, så er du kommet til den rette. Vi har samlet alt hvad der findes indenfor lego city og lego duplo togbaner.

Antek said...

is there a new link to the data base? I've had no luck with the two above.
I'd be very grateful to any one who knew if a new one existed.
Thank you

Antek said...


Do you know if there is a new link available, the two above don't work anymore.

Thank you

peacay said...

Hi Antek, I'm having no luck chasing it down. Nothing archived and the dbase names in any config when searched don't seem to help.

If any Japanese readers come by and feel like doing a little research to find this ningyodo library's new website at the very least (or gold star round: finding the new repository link for the series above), it would be greatly appreciated.

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