Alternative Name(s): Finger top

Bought in Sydney in 1982.

The Australian Children's Folklore Collection is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.
Top-spinning is an ancient activity. Tops dated at 1200-1400BC were excavated in Egypt, and they are often mentioned in classical literature. They are found throughout the world and used by adults and children, in rituals as well as for games of skill. Japan, China and Korea have a long tradition of making and using tops. The toy has persisted in Japanese culture to the present day, and the variety of tops is astonishing. Some Japanese children, usually boys, are very skilled top-spinners. The variety of tops demonstrates the importance of this toy in Japanese culture. This object is an example of a contemporary Japanese finger-top, decorated with coloured rings in the style of many Japanese tops.

Physical Description

Small wooden finger top, clear-lacquered and decorated with two blue rings on the upper surface. Body of top is shaped like a flying saucer, with a lip at the base of the stem. Stem is glued into the middle of the top. Acknowledgement: Australian Children's Folklore Collection, Museum Victoria.

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