From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Beigoma spinning top toys
Beigoma displayed for sale

Beigoma (Japanese: ベーゴマ) are traditional Japanese spinning top toys.

A small but light pointy shaped toy of approximately 3 cm in diameter, it is spun by wrapping a thin 60 cm cord around it, then throwing it while releasing the cord to spin it onto a surface such as matting spread across the top of a barrel. The thrower aims it at another beigoma that is already spinning to knock it out of the playing area. The loser is the player whose top either stops spinning first or is knocked outside the area. If spun correctly it makes a humming sound.

They are often decorated with kanji, for example with names of famous baseball players.[1][2][3]

Beigoma may have come to Japan from China, originating as Koma (wooden toys), popular with ordinary people in the Kamakura period. The toy was well known in the 17th century Edo period and was originally made by filling spiral seashells with sand and sealing them with molten wax. By the 20th century, they were made of lead and later, cast metal. Their popularity peaked in the first half of the 20th century, losing favour as newer post war toys became available. Recently, the popular Beyblade toy, which is modelled after beigoma has caused a re-surge in interest. Beyblades are similar to beigoma but have no stem.[4][5][6][7]

In 2001 there was only one factory still making them, in Kawaguchi, Saitama prefecture.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ Mahoney, Tracy. "Toy Box". Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  2. ^ a b "What's cool in Japan:Beyblades". June 2001. Archived from the original on 10 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  3. ^ a b Satoshi, Matsuoka (2001-12-15). "Trends Today". Nipponia. Web Japan. Archived from the original on 10 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Traditional Games Making a Comeback". The Japan Forum. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  5. ^ "Tell Me Why". The Times India. ABP Pvt. Limited. 2005-12-29. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  6. ^ Townley, Piers (2002-01-25). "Gadgets and Gizmos:Spin Dizzy; On A Whirlwind Trip From Japan". Daily Record. Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  7. ^ "Beyblade Beta History". Retrieved 2008-04-07.