Message from Museum Curator
No one stays a kid forever.
Toys remind us of memories and dreams from our childhood — in other words, they are nostalgic. That nostalgia is what drew me to tin toys when I first saw them.
Tin toys have been made since the Meiji period. So many tin toys were developed back then, and they were all handmade. Gradually, though, they started to disappear. Those tin toys are more than just nostalgia. They’ve been with us in so many different periods of our history. Just from looking at toys, you can see the many ways that manners and styles have shifted through time.
You will be deeply moved by them.
Kitahara Teruhisa was born in Tokyo in 1948. He is known globally as a leading collector of tin toys. While Kitahara was in Europe studying in university, he became an avid skier. He was also attracted by European culture’s proclivity for antiques. Thus he soon began amassing old watches, posters, and assorted collector’s items.
Then one day he saw a tin toy in the home of a designer whom he knew through a friend. He quickly developed a fascination for them, and began to find tin toys forgotten or discarded by local toy stores. His new and unusual hobby garnered him media attention. After years of collecting these toys, in April 1986 he opened “Tinplant Toy Museum” at Yokohama Yamate. He opened the museum because he wanted the public to have access to his one-of-a-kind collection.
Currently, Kitahara Teruhisa appears on TV Tokyo’s “Kaiunn nanndemo tannteidann” as an appraiser. He frequently appears on commercials and radio programs, and gives lectures throughout Japan.