Kendama

Beautiful Japanese actress’ mediocre ball-on-a-stick skills have Internet crushing hard【Video】

Most people in Japan outgrow this game by the time they finish grade school, but Kyoko Fukada had adults’ attention.

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New kendama featuring Hello Kitty makes the traditional Japanese game super cute!

If you’ve been waiting, now is the perfect time to take up the traditional children’s game!

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Japanese traditional toy kendama is about to evolve into Dendama

Equipped with a range of sensors and motion detectors, the Dendama looks set to bring this classic toy into the 21st century.

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Kendama master takes the game to a whole new level 【Video】

Almost everyone in Japan has played kendama at some point in their lives. Most people learn how to play it as a pastime during their childhood, then eventually move on to other activities after they get the hang of it and become bored. A select few, however, go on to hone their skills to perfection and actually compete in organized competitions similar to yo-yo tournaments. Enter 22-year-old Hiroki Iijima, who has not only mastered all the regular tricks in the book but has also combined his love for street dancing to create a new freestyle activity: “kendama street dancing,” if you will.

Skeptical? We’ve got video proof of Hiroki’s awesome skills right here. Prepare to be dazzled!

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What the heck is ‘kendama’? The traditional Japanese game sweeping the world

The other day, I was trawling through YouTube looking for shamisen music videos when I came across an utterly unique video called “Tokyo Kendama Project vol.2 Utakata.”

It featured the traditional Okinawan sansen three-stringed instrument played by the mysterious Gosamaru and composed by Tomoaki Ogre, the beautiful dancing of Kumi Arikawa, and a pair of strangely hypnotic gentlemen spinning some… things through the air. I’d heard of kendama before, as I imagine most people with even a fleeting knowledge of Japan have, but I’d never seen the toy wielded with such incredible finesse.

Fascinated, I had to know more!

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All-Japan Kendama Champion Takes Game to The Next Level

First of all, you might be wondering, “What’s kendama?” Well, it’s a popular children’s toy that is kind of like a cup-and-ball game on steroids. However, rather than a single cup, this game has three of varying sizes, and they aren’t so much “cups” as they are shallow saucers that are meant to hold the ball. And if that’s not enough, there’s an extra spike that you’re expected to skewer the ball on exactly through a pre-made hole. The purpose of this game being not only to get the ball into a cup but to also juggle it between cups or spike without dropping it.

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