Oh, Let’s Spin the Earth Together!
Spinning a top is a representing play in Japan. But I, a Japanese one, am unable. My father taught many times in my childhood. I can’t use a rope and spin. Incidentally, I am too awkward to make a bow.
Gyroscopes (Chikyu-goma) are a kind of tops for the unskillful because it is in charge of being used by anybody. Tiger Shokai has produced since 1921. See, these look perfectly different from usual tops. Anyone can spin it even on the rope. Exactly, that is a beautiful toy of science!
Secret artisans have consistently made the wonderful tops since each part needs extreme accuracy. The work process has never been open to the public and is always behind the closed gate. I can say Gyroscopes are completely different from usual cheap toys mass-produced in China or Vietnam.
It backfired and hurt them in two aspects. First, they are unable to reduce the price because there is no mass production. Then, they had been beyond the reach of children in Showa era and other companies naturally produced knockoffs instead. The badly-made imitations became unpopular among the kids and lowered the popularity of the original Gyroscopes.
Second, it is coming to the end due to a lack of the successors. Toys made by artisans are destined to cease to exist with them. Tiger Shokai announces they are due to stop the production and shut themselves up in 2015 April.
It makes me feel so sad that vanishing are the delight which goes on when the awkward can spin, and the surprise which makes us say “Great! What is this trick?” During about a century, they have really existed out of the artisans.
・Name: Tiger Shokai Co., Ltd.
・Address: Honencho 17-15 Nagoya Chikusa-ku, Aichi 464-0076 Japan
・Established in 1921
It's Slimy, That's All!