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"Yawata Uma Pair" Vintage Japanese Souvenir
vintage Japanese souvenir toy

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From Aomori
Our Price: $27.00

Quantity in Stock:1
Product Code: 0722TOY13

This listing is for a pair of brightly colored wooden horses. There are three different styles of these carved and painted wooden horse toys, and this pair is the yawata style, famously from the town of Yawata in Aomori Prefecture.

Carved wooden horses recall a legend where mythical wooden horses suddently appeared to help a shogun win a famous battle during the Heian Period.
According to Japanese Folk Toys: The Playful Arts by Lea Baten:

“In Heian times (794-1185), the general Sakanoueno Tamuramaru was sent by the emperor to subdue the turbulent nothern provinces. Before leaving, the general went to pray at Kiypmizu Temple in Kyoto, and as amulets for victory, was given a hundred small wooden horses carved from the leftover pieces of a great image of Buddha. At Miharu, the battle was going against him, when a herd of one hundred horses suddenly appeared and overran the enemy forces. After the battle, the general found that his horse charms had disappeared, but the next day a villager from Takashiba found one wooden horse covered with sweat and blood…for one horse had been wounded. After these remarkable events, the people of Miharu and Takashiba made miniature copies of the wooden horse as amulets for the health and safety of their children.”

The horses - one red, one black - are made with two simply carved pieces that fit together using joints and notches. The mane and tail are made of coarse horse hair or palmetto fiber, and the elaborately painted designs make these delightful ornaments.

2" wide and 3.5" tall

Learn more about these delightful souvenirs HERE.

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