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Author Topic: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.  (Read 9378 times)

Taka

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Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« on: March 14, 2016, 11:58:26 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoOyr11tUnw

I am looking for his top long time,but can't find in the market.He is most famous Koma maker in Japan.
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Taka from Tokyo

Taka

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2016, 12:01:34 AM »

Here has other video with English sub title
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwe4xe0vgyk
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collectop

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2016, 01:12:26 AM »

I do believe this man is a master top maker, I do hold  more than 100 Japanese tops how would I know if any of these are his, does he sign his name on them ? any comments ?
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Taka

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2016, 02:51:57 AM »

Normally,His and his family top has sign on it.At least on box or with paper.
same as traditional tea cup or Ukiyoe,something,they have paper as certificate,too.
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2016, 05:41:54 AM »

Fascinating videos.  Thanks for sharing them.  I love seeing his workshop and his tools.
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ta0

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2016, 12:19:57 PM »

Wonderful videos of master maker Masa-aki Hiroi! Thanks Taka for sharing them.

Although I have a top identical in shape, size and colors to the long stem one he makes on the first video (I got it from Don Olney's collection) it is not signed  :( It took me a while to learn how to spin it well. By the way, the lathe tools he uses are different to the ones I am accustomed to.
Several of those Edo koma ("trick" tops) designs I had not seen before. They are so ingenious and cute!
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johnm

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2016, 09:14:31 PM »

Thank you for posting the videos, very enjoyable.

I am looking for his top long time,but can't find in the market.He is most famous Koma maker in Japan.

In this thread LarryD posted a link to a web site where his tops can be purchased or "crafted on demand"
thread link = Japanese documentary on tops

shopping link = Edo Spinning tops

the lathe tools he uses are different to the ones I am accustomed to.

It seems the Japanese tools and lathe work style are quite unique.  This video is about a doll maker so no tops but at about 4:32 we get a brief glimpse of how the hook type tools are made.  Taka, do you have any youtube search suggestions in Japanese which might lead to videos documenting the lathes and tools commonly used by the traditional Japanese craftsmen (it seems many makers have adopted a more western approach these days but I think there are interesting techniques to be learned from the more traditional makers)?  The lathes have an interesting foot operated clutch system allowing them to briefly inspect their work without shutting off the motor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAVHG6qDKto
« Last Edit: March 15, 2016, 09:23:20 PM by johnm »
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Neff

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2016, 12:50:14 AM »

Thanks Taka!
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silvertop

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2016, 10:42:34 PM »

Some notes on my meeting Masaaki Hiroi ..... forgive the CAPITAL letters in the first section.  It is copied directly from some old notes of mine written before I learned not to use all CAPS.  Sorry.  I learned of a Japanese festival in NYC through an incomplete fax sent to me by a Japanese Top performer that I met at IJA in the summer of 1991 - Masahiro Mizuno.   Most of the content of the fax did not come through, but it did mention a Japanese festival in NY.  Masahiro had mentioned that his teacher would be going to NY in the fall, so on almost no information, I took off for NY, found the festival at the World Trade Center, and had a great time!  The following is from a letter I sent to a friend in 1993.

 I MET MASAAKI HIROI AT THE SAME JAPANESE FESTIVAL IN NEW YORK IN OCTOBER OF 1991.  HE SPOKE NO ENGLISH, BUT A YOUNG WOMAN ACTED AS AN INTERPRETER FOR US FOR PROBABLY 20 - 30 MINUTES.  I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HIS FIRST QUESTION TO ME AFTER I TOLD HIM ABOUT MYSELF AND MY TOP COLLECTION.  HE ASKED IF "I WAS A TOP MAKER, OR JUST SOMEONE WHO OWNED A COMPANY THAT SOLD TOPS"  FORTUNATELY FOR ME I HAD A TOP I HAD MADE IN MY POCKET WHICH I SHOWED HIM.  THAT SEEMED TO MAKE ME OK, AND WE SHARED A GREAT FEW MINUTES.  I SHOWED HIM SOME PHOTOS OF SOME OF MY JAPANESE TOPS AND HE INDICATED THAT A COUPLE OF THEM WERE HIS, AND THAT ONE WAS DESIGNED BY HIS GRANDFATHER.  A COUPLE OF OTHERS SEEM TO HAVE BEEN MADE BY HIS STUDENTS.  HE WAS ASSEMBLING AND PAINTING SMALL FLIPOVER TOPS FOR THE PUBLIC AS HIS "SHOW", BUT HE STOPPED, AND MADE ME A SET OF 7 DIFFERENT SMALL FRUIT AND VEGETABLE TOPS ON HIS LATHE.  HE INDICATED THAT HE MAKES OVER 5,000 KINDS OF TOPS!  I REMEMBER BEING PARTICULARLY FASCINATED BY A COUPLE OF "TOYS" WHICH HAD MOTION GENERATED BY AN INTERNAL TOP (FLYWHEEL)  ONE WAS A "LAUGHING BUDAH" THAT WAS VERY ROLY-POLY AND ROCKED GENTLY AROUND WHEN THE TOP INSIDE WAS SPINNING.  THE OTHER WAS A PERSON SINGING AND PLAYING A GUITAR OR UKULELE TYPE INSTRUMENT.  THE MOUTH OPENED AND CLOSED AND THE ARM STRUMMED THE INSTRUMENT THROUGH THE ACTION OF SMALL CAMS ON THE SHAFT OF AN INTERNAL TOP.
     I LATER SENT HIM TWO LETTERS AND SOME SPECIAL COLOR LAMINATED PLYWOOD AND SOME OF THE PLASTIC TRAYS WE SEND TO THE STORES FOR PEOPLE TO PLAY WITH TOPS IN.  HE HAD BEEN PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN THESE THINGS.  I HAVE ATTACHED COPIES OF THOSE LETTERS.  I NEVER DID HEAR BACK FROM HIM.  I'M STILL VERY INTERESTED IN BUYING SOME OF HIS TOPS FOR MY COLLECTION!

Years later, I showed some of my top collection at the American Woodturners Association convention in Rhode Island (not sure of the year right now), and Masaaki Hiroi was a featured demonstrator.  I of course went to his workshop, and we also enjoyed some time together as he "toured" my collection.  I finally was able to obtain a piece of his work - a spinning top operated ukulele player - at the fundraising auction.  Another fellow and I were bidding fiercely on it.  I won, to great applause, paying way too much for my "top".  That, and the tiny set of fruit and vegetable tops from my NY visit, are prized possessions.
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Sabaspin

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2016, 12:24:50 AM »

 
Really enjoyed the videos! Thanks for posting.
Great story Silvertop.
the lathe tools he uses are different to the ones I am accustomed to.

It seems the Japanese tools and lathe work style are quite unique.  This video is about a doll maker so no tops but at about 4:32 we get a brief glimpse of how the hook type tools are made.  Taka, do you have any youtube search suggestions in Japanese which might lead to videos documenting the lathes and tools commonly used by the traditional Japanese craftsmen (it seems many makers have adopted a more western approach these days but I think there are interesting techniques to be learned from the more traditional makers)?  The lathes have an interesting foot operated clutch system allowing them to briefly inspect their work without shutting off the motor.

I'm also curious about the different tools they use.
They make turning look so easy.
Wonder what wood they use, it looks very smooth. Is it a softer wood or just very sharp tools?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 01:17:50 AM by ta0 »
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2016, 12:40:54 AM »

Yes, thanks silvertop for your reflections.  You have lived a very colorful life!!!
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2016, 12:25:28 PM »

I know that "edo koma" is often translated as  "trick top", but how exactly would you define tops that qualify? For example, would any top with a mechanism that harnesses centrifugal force in an entertaining way qualify?

Also, does "edo koma" properly refer to a class of tops, an individual top belonging to that class, or both?
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ta0

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2016, 06:52:41 PM »

I know that "edo koma" is often translated as  "trick top", but how exactly would you define tops that qualify? For example, would any top with a mechanism that harnesses centrifugal force in an entertaining way qualify?
Also, does "edo koma" properly refer to a class of tops, an individual top belonging to that class, or both?
Although on the video they translate Edo tops as trick tops, on this forum we generally refer as a trick top one used for string tricks, what some people (specially in Spain) call acrobatic top.
The name Edo comes from the Edo period in Japan when this type of tops first appeared. When I asked "uncle Koma" for a translation he just said "toy tops". I would say that they include most of the ones in which the main interest is not the spin of the top itself.
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2016, 08:08:42 PM »

Although on the video they translate Edo tops as trick tops, on this forum we generally refer as a trick top one used for string tricks, what some people (specially in Spain) call acrobatic top.
The name Edo comes from the Edo period in Japan when this type of tops first appeared. When I asked "uncle Koma" for a translation he just said "toy tops". I would say that they include most of the ones in which the main interest is not the spin of the top itself.

Thanks for the info, ta0. Yes, "trick top" is very misleading.

How about this for a definition of an edo koma: A top that does "tricks" by itself, with a human supplying only the angular acceleration.
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johnm

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Re: Koma artist,Mr Hiroi's video.
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2016, 09:26:23 PM »

Unfortunately the video in this thread (link = Edo Goma ) is now blocked in the US.  It had some interesting history of Edo goma (koma and goma seem interchangeable) as well as displaying the work of another master Hiroi Michiaki.  This web page (link = Onkomaya Hiroi ) has some discussion of the history similar to that in the blocked video.  As with many of the Japanese tops that are often referred to by the region in which they are made and popular, as well as an era Edo is an earlier name for the city Tokyo

Quote
When the kyoku goma was brought to Edo (present T?ky?), it gained a huge popularity. As it spread among Edo people, more and more crafters began to make spinning tops, and some started to make spinning tops as ornament or one to enjoy inside.
Later, Edo goma was appreciated as luxury by the upper classes of society such as daimyo (feudal lord). Even when sumptuary laws were enacted, crafters never stopped making spinning tops saying “if large one is luxurious, then make it smaller,” or “if they say this shape is luxurious, then use a different shape.”

That’s how this tradition was carried on in those days, and because of that situation, a wide variety of Edo goma has become available.

It is said more than 1,000 kinds of edo goma were produced until this day.

Perhaps even simple tops for throwing and finger spinning could be referred to as Edo goma and the "trick" translation or emphasis is more for commercial purposes these days.  Maybe a better term would be "surprise" top referring to the secondary actions of the toy beyond spinning the top.
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