Toys create a world of fun. Simple everyday tools, they transcend language and generation. Children often play with other children, they also play with their parents and other older peers; it is all nourishing. Toys become a heart to heart bond, they bring us closer to joy.
Toys make sounds, sparkle and entice children. They become the almighty child-care helpers every mother and father dreams of. Here at Ginga Kobo Toys our toys are very quiet and simple. In order to play well with them one must be very active and involved. From this collaboration, a dialogue is born. And so, this silent partner becomes a grand pillar of communication.
From the age of three a child begins to find creativity within the self. Building blocks are most exemplative. Build it up, tear it down, build it up again, a repetitive action which takes place over and over.The importance of playing with toys starts with this sort of activity. Children "only" play with buildings blocks. They don't think about what they are building, they just build. No thought process is involved, their motions are automatic. Adults tend to be more pragmatic. Children, however,seem to mindlessly pick up blocks and play.It is known that the buds of creativity are found here. This child's world of play must be valued and protected.
As wood ages it becomes more and more beautiful.Toys made for my daughter over ten years ago have taken on such a lovely patina. Memories of childhood live within these well worn and loved toys. Toys gather more and more love as they are passed from generation to generation.
As children grow older they and their toys shift realities. Although most toys have a lasting charm they all go beyond their favorite peak moments. Each wooden toy acquires a uniqueness through use. Sun-bleached, finger worn, pale age-worn surfaces speak of another time and place. Behold a patina of episodes, a reservoir of memories, a well-worn toy recalls the magical moments of a child at play.
Playing with wooden puzzles during early childhood will increase the child's powers of structural perception. Let's look at paper thin, two dimensional puzzles and see how they compare to my three dimensional wooden animal puzzles. As the understanding of forms found in two dimensional puzzles becomes familiar, the mind is even more challenged when a three dimensional composition is introduced. The special characteristics of three dimensional puzzles include the front and back of each piece. Observation of children as they play with both two dimensional and three diemnsional puzzles will help with the general understanding of how perceptive powers develop.
Very similar in appearance,there are many small intricate pieces found in the wooden puzzles of Ginga Kobo Toys. It is the right brain which must then decipher unconsciously which piece goes where. In this way structural form-making perceptions and artistic creativity develop.
Puzzles constructed by infants are fascinating.The puzzles begin to look like something else,what looks like the stencil of a green pepper becomes a silouette of micky mouse. In this way,a sweet understanding of "form" may be realized. Puzzles seem to have a great impact on the brains of infants. Let's take a nonchalant look at these infants and their puzzles. Each puzzle seems a little different than the other, the puzzles take on the feeling of the child who made it.
"It's just a toy, but it is a toy."
"Just playing" or "just a toy" are thoughts which create a light fun feeling nuturing communicative powers held within the family. When people are too stressed, too busy, it is difficult to have fun, the idea of "playing together" slips away.Yet when there is plenty of time or when one makes the time to play with children a heart to heart closeness develops, a special relationaship begins. It is easy to see what a great influence toys and "play, "having fun", has on everyone. Parents and their children will find "play time" very nourishing for the mind and heart.
When a mother or father plays with their child, although the child is completely pleased, the parents must make a great effort to find their child heart, to become children again. A totally surprising "playtime" is ahead of them, they will probably need a gigantic boost of energy to have fun playing with their kids. At this time a toy can become a bond between parent and child. Oh yes, a toy may be hung, beautifully displayed, on a wall but it really is best as a tool for play.The true importance of a toy is when it is used to create fun and joy. A toy isn't something to just give to a child, it must be played with and used as a tool of communication. It is especially fun when the father joins the fun. In reality, the power of play within the subconscious, is stronger in the father than the mother.
This little baby car might be one of the first toys your baby plays with. Roll the Bunny car up and down Papa's back and shoulders, then on one another. The rolling is a good massage for Papa, it might be a little ticklish for baby. Let's look at the origin of toys for a moment.These days children are left to entertain themselves, alone by themselves. Yet the original purpose of the toy, of children being entertained, was as a tool to encourage communication in the home, with everyone in the family. Each home, each family, will have their own way of playing and communicating.
Within a lifetime,"moments for play", are mostly during one's childhood and then again at the other end of the timeline, when one is elderly. Before entering school is the primary time to encourage children to "play hard".
Don't be shy about singing off the top of your head while playing with your child. Everyone should join in the fun, sing together. Look forward to the day your child joins in... Intimate little moments of shared play, precious heart to heart play please share these with your child, you are the only one who can.
Ginga Kobo Toys baby toys are the result of a demand for toys which would help create a healthy and happy environment for a baby to grow up in. Raising a child is a major job. It is our hope that toys become a buffer, a thing of joy, an aid to the soul, not only for the child but also for those who care for them.
For children almost anything will become a toy. Newspapers, a cardboard box which was going to be thrown away...These toys which give children "playtime" are born out of love and communication. In this world today which is so full of things, a child carefully chooses with what they will play and how. So please, while playing with children talk a lot and create good skinship. With a smile cherish this significantly important time for play.
When children are young they are innocent and extremely imaginative about play. Repetition often rules play. Toys which help children develop and mature are best. It is a pleasure to have close at hand a tool which is also beautiful toy. People consciously choose toys for children, the children themselves don't realize anythng, they just play and in such a way are influenced by the toy. It is best to concentrate on child development.The most popular long-selling toys are such toys, they have the essences of creativity and beauty in them.
Our world is so full material things. How wonderful it would be to find a wealth of beloved toys within that worldly menagerie. The child's heart is never forgotten. I create my toys always keeping in mind that, "we are all children at heart".
Why so precious? Why not throw it away? Where does it's mystical enchanment come from? Is it technical expertise? Is it the hand chiseled quality? The finished toy holds a magical power. Some customers have written such comments as: "Suddenly something changed in the way the children played. The children themselves change as they puzzle pieces together, creating new stories, new ways of seeing things... wooden toys survive time, they age beautifully." With spring in the air, chirping sounds of hammering and drilling resonate from my little workshop nestled deep in the mountains. Here at Ginga Kobo Toys it is our wish that more and more children will play with our wooden toys.
A toy has magic only when it is played with. Happiness is born from a toy. A medium for communication, it nutures a heart to heart bond. A toy allows one to see things from a child's perspective, it also shows us a fresh way of seeing things. With toys as the medium, parents may happily play with with their children building the foundations of a future trust and love.

The Importance Of Wooden Toys

1 Not a Best Seller! A Long Seller!

Wooden toys are not best sellers, they are long sellers. Seemingly ageless they transcend time.There are two reasons for this transcendence. First of all, wooden toys are sturdy, and often well taken care of, cherished. Surviving generations, passed from grandfather to father to son, woooden toys live on and on. Speaking intimately to the future generations of love and joy . They have a legacy. Many customers speak of their toys as having something special, they can't be thrown away. There is something precious about a wooden toy.     

Secondly, is the universality of a wooden toy. Perhaps this is an exaggeration yet the quiet strength of a wooden toy is an inigma. I think about one of my first toys, the 6 wheel car. This toy is almost as old as my toy shop. I started making toys 28 years ago and I still feel happy and proud when customers tell me that this toy still has the same charm and joy today as it had so many years ago when they bought it.

2 Heart to Heart Empowerment

This is carefully handicrafted work. The interpersonal relationship between the maker and user of the toys, is paramount. Meeting face to face is always a pleasure.During my workshops people are able to experience making toys with their own hands, the more they work on their toys, the more the toys are filled meaning and love. I feel the same about the toys I create. It is a quite rare occurence but there are some toys which after years and years of being played with have found their way back to the studio to have something adjusted or repaired.These toys are old and worn but still have a sweet joy about them. I am touched that their owners cared enough about them to bring them back to be reborn. Also, I am happy that throughout the years many customers, people who have bought so many toys from me, come back and visit. These people who appreciate my toys inspire me to create more and more. It is especially true these days with the increased communication of cyberspace networking. Creativity is more global. I am inspired by the extent of international exposure my toys are receiving via cyberspace. Thanks to my webpage I receive many orders for my toys from unknown faces but I still feel a strong connection to these toys and the people who will love them.


So what about the quality of the materials used in the making my toys? Whether the toy is for a child or adult makes a difference. My toys are unlike most toys which are made only for a child's entertainment. The 6 wheel car, which is made for the child who is just beginning to walk is made of beautiful natural materials of high intergrity. This integrity comes from nature, whatever is within the child's reach must reinforce this wondrous connection to nature. Parents may have different ideas about child play but I think that the free spirit of play, the play which is entrusted to the child is most appropriate. Wooden toys have a certain primitive charm, the integrity of it's materials, speaks to its user. Here at Ginga Kobo Toys the toy becomes a work of art. Many customers are pleased by this subtle distinction. Is it a toy or artwork, both? With our toys childhood memories surface, nostalgic moments of joy play in our hearts. In these times so many people have lost their child spirit, they have forgotten how to have fun. I, myself, always have too much fun. My workers look at me with wonder. It is exactly this child spirit I love sharing with my customers through my toys.




Born In Japan, Nagano Prefecture.
As a child liked playing games and having fun. In elementary school submitted puzzles to the school newspaper. Loved playing around, was a very naughty boy.
1971 Studies graphic design as a young man.
1975 Experience in craft design, works with wood .
1983 Birth of first child inspires the creation of first toys. Ginga Kobo Toys established. Company expands, various commercial enterprises explored. Participations in wooden toy exhibitons .
1984 Series of Articles published for Woody Magazine: "Toy Makers of the World" and "Wooden Toy Workshops".
1996 Establishes gallery in little mountain village of Nogura, Nagano prefecture, Japan. About 800 original toys displayed in the Ginga Kobo Toys collection.
1997-2012 Awarded Japanese NPO "Good Toy" Prize
Book Published, "Handcrafted Wooden Toys"
Numerous Other Publications

Interests: Travel, Reading, Music, Movies, Shogi, Horse Riding, Swimming.
Favorite Foods: Bibinba, Pasta, Multi-grain Bread.
Favorite Artists:Tei Kobayashi・Robert Mirabal・Scotty Wright
Blood Type: A Positive
Astrological Sign: Capricorn


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