The last standing spinning top maker
In Momoyama period (1568-1600), imperial court ladies used to wind bright-colored kimono fabric strips around a bamboo rod to make a “tatami room spinning top”, the ancestor of modern Kyo-koma, or Kyoto spinning top. The craft of spinning top making has long flourished, but now Jakkyu remains the only place in Kyoto to carry on this unique tradition. No edged tools are involved in Kyo-koma shaping process: flat cotton strips dyed in vivid colors are rolled around a bamboo rod using only fingers. Even today, elegant Kyoto spinning tops are popular for their beautiful smooth rotation.