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Folk Toys from Mexico and Central and South America



Mule from Fiesta de Santa Ana (Feast of St. Anne) (Mexico)

Head down to the Japan Toy Museum for an exhibition introducing a selection of folk toys from a collection of over 3,000 Central and South American toys.

Central and South American toys are rich in a whole plethora of different elements. They are crafted based on beliefs passed down by the indigenous peoples of their areas, have an artistic flair to them based on decorations and coloring brought over by those from southern Europe, have melancholic compositions born from the invasion and oppression that is part of the region’s history, yet contain a humor-filled design that dances atop all of these elements.

Tonalá ceramic animals (Mexico)

This exhibition contains a variety of folk toys made from natural materials like wood, clay, bone, stone, gourd, straw, millet shells, which originate from seven regions: Mesoamerica (to which Mexico belongs and is the largest part of the exhibition), Central America, the Caribbean, the Amazon, East Brazil, South America, and the Andes. It is worth pointing out that it is a rare opportunity to see toys like such as in Japan, including the local collection of toys procured with in 1980 by the help of Mexican craftspeople and various traditional toys of Brazilian indigenous people which were excavated in 1995. This is a wonderful chance to learn a bit about toys and the handicrafts from Central and South America, born from a culture and lifestyle that has been rich in change.

Merry-go-round (Mexico)

Folk Toys from Mexico and Central and South America
Dates: 8 July – 22 October, 2023 (Closed on Wednesdays, unless a public holiday falls on the same day)
Hours: 10:00 – 17:00
Venue: Japan Toy Museum Building 6 (671-3 Koderacho Nakanino, Himeji-shi, Hyogo Prefecture)

Photographs provided by the Japan Toy Museum

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