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Motif Information
Motif Koma 01.jpg
Rōmaji Koma
English Top
Kanji 独楽
Kana こま, コマ
Season Late Autumn, Winter
Seasonal Exceptions New Year
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Man-made

Koma are spinning tops. Koma were introduced from China via Korea in the Nara period. Besides being children's toys, koma can be used for both gambling and divination.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Koma are associated with the turning of the seasons- both late autumn harvests and New Year's day.

Koma are a toy traditionally played with by boys.[1] When paired with koinobori or other boys' toys, koma point to Tango no sekku (端午の節句, Boys' Day, May 5th), now celebrated as Kodomo no Hi (こどもの日, Children's Day).

Motif Connotations & Symbolism

Auspicious Nature

Koma are auspicious as a spinning top is balanced and spins in a circle. They symbolize things coming out well in family, business, and the harvest.

Common Motif Pairings

Identification & Style Variations

Describe how the pattern can be identified. If applicable, explain how the pattern is conventionally simplified.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

Where possible - try to find examples of motif in literature, art and real life. If you are unable to find an example - remove this section.

In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

  • Link to any relevant threads on IG


  1. Seaman, Joyce. Manju: Netsuke from the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum. Ashmolean Museum. Oxford, 2013. p. 138.

Image Credits

  • Ainokimono
  • FabricMagpie
  • Hikari_evyon

Authors & Contributors

Author/s: tzippurah (IG Username)