Creator of fun world in Japanese Edo Spinning Tops

Masaaki Hiroi’s creativity keeps spinning


Japanese Edo Spinning Tops artisan: Masaaki Hiroi

Masaaki Hiroi’s extraordinary passion for making original Japanese Edo Spinning Tops started when he was in his 30s and has created over 4,000 different types of Edo Tops to date.

So what exactly is Edo Spinning Tops and what’s so unique about it?
Japanese Edo Spinning Tops by Masaaki HiroiSpinning Tops that flourished during Edo Period (1603 – 1867) in Japan are commonly called Edo Spinning Tops. They don’t just spin, but each top has a distinctive mechanism that gives a unique movement to the top, simple analog mechanism, but some motions are in a sense robotic and full of humor.

This traditional mechanism caught Hiroi’s attention, and although Hiroi Family had been producing traditional Japanese Spinning Tops for four generations, he couldn’t resist to create his original Edo Tops mechanism to match the modern day. His ideas for new tops are all in his mind and in his hands and does not draw any blueprints.

Although his original creations were based on tradition, they weren’t accepted in Japan. But he continued his endeavor and in 1980, he was invited to Paris to exhibit his works and was highly appraised — he was convinced then that to keep the tradition, one needs to keep creating the new tradition from the old. Finally, Japanese caught up with his originality, uniqueness, and his belief. Since 1983, he started to be invited to the U.S. and other countries, counting about 50 countries, to have exhibitions and workshops. Today, he is the highly recognized master craftsman of Edo Tops in Japan and his quest for creativity still continues.

Watch Japanese Edo Spinning Top by Masaaki Hiroi in action. Guess which will win, tortoise or a hare?

Japanese Kyoku-Goma Tops by Masaaki HiroiHiroi is also known for his skill in producing traditional super spinner (kyoku-goma) tops which are used by traditional spinning top jugglers for their professional performances. A very simple top but which needs highly trained craftsman to create the best balance and spinning movement. You may want to give it a spin, but it isn’t easy! This top is for those who seek to reach the pinnacle in spinning tops! Once you master the high level of skill, you’ll be able to get this beauty to move along a taut string, spinning all the while.

Masaaki Hiroi’s works are sold at

Notice (updated July 10, 2016): Due to his health conditions, we regret to inform you that we can not take orders at this time. We can not forecast his returning dates, but if you could sign up and subscribe to our e-mail newsletter, we will be glad to update you: sign up at JapanUniqueGifts.
Thank you for your understanding.



  30 comments for “Creator of fun world in Japanese Edo Spinning Tops

  1. 07/11/2016 at 04:45

    Hi I would like to buy your man eating noodles toy. How much do you sell them for and can I buy 10 of them?

    • admin
      07/11/2016 at 10:51

      Thank you for your interest in Masaaki Hiroi’s spinning tops.

      Usually, you could buy them at our Japan Unique Gifts online store (, but we are not taking orders at this time due to his health conditions. We can not forecast his returning dates, but If you could sign up and subscribe to our e-mail newsletter, we will be glad to update you:

      Thank you for your understanding.

      • Pam V
        12/13/2016 at 07:04

        We love your toys and are waiting for you to make them again. BUT 無理をしないでくださ!Please feel better soon. (^ー^)

        • admin
          12/13/2016 at 11:14

          Thank you Pam for your kind words, we will pass on your message to him.
          We are also hoping for him to make those amazing spinning tops again, but the same time, as you mentioned, we like him to take it easy and start at a slow pace.

  2. Brian Miller
    07/26/2016 at 00:16

    Is he the only one left that can make these unique toys?

    • admin
      07/26/2016 at 11:39

      He is not the only one, but it would be rare to find someone else who could make spinning tops with such originality and traditional sense.

  3. Brett Moloney
    08/13/2016 at 00:36

    Bless Master Masaaki Hiroi, and may he get well soon. Just watching his toys gives me joy enough. It will be wonderful if he has his wish of more years making his amazing creations.

    • admin
      08/14/2016 at 11:43

      Thank you for your kind words. We wish him to regain his health and continue to create more tops.

  4. Christopher peppard
    10/06/2016 at 21:43

    What an awesome talent. As a stonemason I fully appreciate the work of this fellow craftsman. Would love his noodle eating toy. Hopefully he will get better soon. Best wishes from the UK.

    • admin
      10/12/2016 at 11:39

      Thank you for your kind wishes!

  5. Aigana
    10/21/2016 at 15:40

    Hello from Kyrgyzstan!

    Could you please let me know if it is possible to visit him and have a chat with this incredible man?
    I would really appreciate if you can help.

    • admin
      10/23/2016 at 10:55

      We regret to inform you, but it would be very difficult at the moment with his health conditions. Thank you for your understanding.

  6. Valerie
    10/21/2016 at 19:43

    Yes I also wish the Master toy maker health and happiness, his work is inspirational and beautiful. Thank you.

    • admin
      10/23/2016 at 10:54

      Thank you for your warm wishes. We also hope for his recovery.

  7. 10/27/2016 at 00:42

    Best wishes to the master of Edo Spinning Tops who brought so much light and humor in this world – the best you can achieve in your life.

    • admin
      10/27/2016 at 00:59

      Thank you for your kind wishes.

  8. Farkhod Tulaganov
    10/29/2016 at 10:26

    I wish master hiroi-sama a speedy recovery and a very spirited long life! would love to visit his shop to witness his inspirational creations in person.

    • admin
      10/29/2016 at 18:45

      Thank you. We are also hoping for his speedy recovery!

  9. inia pece
    11/26/2016 at 00:12

    I hope Mr. Masaaki Hiroi is feeling better. His toys are loved by everyone whose had the pleasure of witnessing his work (even if it’s on video). Love from the Dominican Republic. Blessings and happy holidays.

    • admin
      11/30/2016 at 11:33

      Thank you for your kind wishes, we will relay your message to him.
      Happy Holidays to you too from Japan!

  10. Susan
    11/30/2016 at 09:45

    I hope for a speedy recovery for Master Hiroi’s health. Please tell him his works of art are pure joy and bring smiles to so many. I would be honored to own one of his masterpieces, so please let me know when it’s possible to purchase his art.

    • admin
      11/30/2016 at 11:39

      Thank you for your concern about Masaaki Hiroi’s health condition. We also like his work and hoping for his full recovery.
      We will be glad to update you if you could sign up and subscribe to our e-mail newsletter:
      Thank you for your understanding.

  11. Ryl Santos
    12/08/2016 at 22:57

    Hi.. I hope he’s now well. I want to see him in person but I’m only a kid. Im really inspired by him. Sir Masaaki Hiroi, thank you for still creating these toys. Please live long.

    • admin
      12/12/2016 at 00:34

      Thank you for your kind wishes, he is getting better but taking it very slowly. We will relay your message to him.

  12. Jim Neff
    01/04/2017 at 02:09

    Wishing for a quick and full recovery for Sir Masaaki. I have admired his work for years.

    • admin
      01/06/2017 at 12:02

      Thank you so much for your kind words. We also wish for his quick recovery.
      Wish you have a wonderful 2017!

  13. Jho Mariano
    07/02/2017 at 17:45

    Hi, how is he? I hope he’s doing well. I would like to meet him one day and be able to witness and own one of his crafts. He is such an inspiration to all.

    • admin
      07/02/2017 at 21:22

      Thanks Jho! He is getting better and working at a very very slow pace.

  14. 07/17/2017 at 05:00

    How is Sir Masaaki doing these days?? I am coming to Japan in September and would love to connect with him to shoot a portrait.

    • admin
      07/18/2017 at 11:47

      Thank you for your inquiry about Masaaki Hiroi’s health condition.

      He is getting better and started working but at a plodding pace. At the same time, we are sorry to report to you, but he is not taking any interviews/photo shoots at the moment.

      Thank you for your understanding.

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