Banjo Playing Monkey



Banjo Playing Monkey, Japan, 1950s, unknown manufacturer, mechanical, lithographed tin and fabric, wind-up.

Another example of postwar Japanese mechanical ingenuity, this toy features banjo-strumming and “music” generated from a small music box inside the monkey. Guaranteed to annoy any adult within listening distance. The monkey’s garb is actually quite creative and suggests its design may be based on a character from American popular culture.

Image is 1097 pixels in height. Image copyright Jim Bunte.