Occupied Japan

Water Flowers

Penny Toy Novelty


This old survivor of the 1940's & 50's is a classic product that was typical of Japan after the war. Japan had no resources. No materials to make products for export to get much needed dollars. Hundreds of small family operated enterprises used what they could find to make items of interest that would sell in the States. These Water Flowers are typical of such products. Many were called penny toys, because they sold in the US for 1 retail. The manufacturers didn't get much.

This action toy was a fun novelty that was purchased by many. They could only be used once, but they are beautiful and fun to watch and arouses ones curiosity. It consists of a combination of sea sponge and rice paper that is dyed different colors and wrapped with silk thread around a small steel wire. The sponge cells and thin paper are arranged together into small pods at the tip of the wire that are then compressed under glass and dried out in the sun. The results are a small, flat colorful thing like shown in the photo below. They are hand wrapped into a small envelope with a distinctive illustration of what they look like in a glass of water. It is printed on the back, "Made in occupied Japan".

To make them work, simply drop them into a small glass of water. It takes a few minutes, and it's fun to watch, The water slowly soaks the sponge and rice tissue, and it swells up and rises. As it does so, the pods slowly blossom, bloom open and float upward, and the stalk thickens up, and holds them upright in the water. Because they are 65 years old, they might need some prodding. They appear to be colorful, natural flowers in water. These are very old, the envelope has a few nips, a pod might be loose, but other that that they are in Perfect Condition!

This item is typical of stuff in the large Dime Store merchandise finds we made. If you like vintage Dime Store and Variety Store stuff, bookmark us. We pack it securely and send it First Class U.S. Postal.


Notice :

This item is a genuine vintage toy from an era when there were no safety standards. It probably contains, or is, a choking hazard, and probably includes other features that are not suitable for children to play with. It is not being sold as a toy for a child to play with, but as a genuine vintage collectable item for adults.

Esnarf Item . #4848 Price . . $12.85

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