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The Toy Museum of Catalonia

Japanese wooden fish

<p>Fish-shaped painted wooden toy with wheels. Made in Japan circa 1970. Photo: &copy; Jordi Puig</p>

Fish-shaped painted wooden toy with wheels. Made in Japan circa 1970. Photo: © Jordi Puig

Japan produces a wide variety of toys made from materials that vary from region to region: clay in the areas of rice cultivation, paper near the big cities and wood in the forest areas of the north.

Handmade toys, like this fish, are usually made in family workshops. The type of production results in imperfect pieces: the shapes are unrefined and the colours tend to be rather dull. These imperfections, on the other hand, make the toy unique, unlike mass-produced ones. This fish features the artisan’s stamp; the ideograms indicate the name.

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