“Kendama” is a traditional hand-held toy long enjoyed in Japan by people of all ages. “Kendama” is typically made of wood and is specially shaped as in the picture – A stick with a point at one end, and three cups attached, and a ball with a small hole in one end. The ball is connected to the stick with a string of roughly 40 centimeters (16 inches) or so.
The basic play is to hold the stick and pull the ball upward using the string, and attempt to catch it in one of the three cups or to spear it with the point of the stick. There are number of more advanced tricks which include sequential catches, balances, juggles and others.
Nowadays, there are competitions held in Japan to compete the tricks and performances with each other. “Kendama” is also getting more attention in the western world these days, so maybe you may have a chance to be entertained by some of the very advance tricks, or even an opportunity to try and enjoy it yourselves!
Please explore our “Japan Cool” page to learn more about the heart and essence of Japan and its culture.