【ならでわ×Echan】|Sasebo Koma (Spinning Top) Transcends Language Barriers. Great Tool for International Communication| 独楽回しは世界共通!? 「佐世保独楽」で国際交流 【観光 | Sightseeing】

The collaboration project between Sasebo E Channel and the local monthly magazine “Naradewa!” continues in 2024. In the January issue, we are featuring Sasebo Koma. 月刊ならでわ!×Eチャンの1月号では、佐世保独楽を特集しています。

Sasebo Koma or the Sasebo spinning top is a traditional folkcraft that originated during the late Edo period. The shape of the top is referred to as the “scallion shape,” which is a rarity in Japan. One theory suggests that, the Sasebo Koma may have originated in India while most of the other spinning tops in Japan are from both China or Korea. The special Sasebo tops have been popular here locally for about two hundred years and still attract many fans regardless of their nationalities. This month, we will be introducing two foreign residents who love playing with their Sasebo Komas.


Mr. Barolli: his love for the top made him a coach. | 愛好家から監督へ ――バロリ先生

Mr. Barolli, a teacher at the University of Nagasaki, from Albania fell in love with the Sasebo Koma and decided to became a coach in the Sasebo top club at his university. He has only lived in Sasebo for 2 years but has already become a top expert. We can’t imagine how much he loves the Sasebo Koma!


He says there is a toy similar to the Sasebo Koma in his home country, Albania that he used to play with. “We are able to communicate with local people through the top even though we don’t understand each other’s language,” remarked Mr. Barolli. Thanks to the Sasebo Koma, that he loves, he wants to live in Sasebo forever.


Max who created his own team for a tournament |チームを作って大会へ ――マックスくん

Max from California started playing with the Sasebo Koma last year after participating in a Sasebo Koma painting workshop at Sasebo Koma Honpo. Since then, he has been practicing spinning the top both with his friends and by himself. Now he’s gotten good at it so much that even the local experts admit his skill.


On Saturday, December 16, he led his own team, called the Max Tops, and competed in the Sasebo Koma Tournament at Shimanose Park. They moved on to the semi final and put up a good fight! Max who has made quite a few Japanese friends says,”Even if you don’t understand the language, you can make friends with anyone through the Sasebo top!”


Top-spinning event at Sasebo Dawn Market| NEO朝市で早朝こま回し!

If you become interested in the Sasebo Komas, there is an event in January. In the very early morning of Saturday, January 20th, Sasebo Dawn Market will be held at the Sasebo Asaichi Square. Students from the University of Nagasaki will teach you how to play with the tops there.


Since the Koma or a spinning top spins for a very long, it is recognized as a good luck charm especially for healthy longevity and a thriving business. Let’s enjoy spinning a top this year.


Sasebo Dawn Market

73 Yorozu-cho, Sasebo MAP
4 AM – 8 AM

1月20日(土) AM 4:00〜8:00

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