#445 Kendama

Kendama is a traditional Japanese toy.

This wooden toy is made of a ball with a hole in it attached to a handle by a string.

The handle has three cups and a spike.


Tricks involve landing the ball in the cups, on the spike or just swinging it around like a badass.

There are set tricks you can do at different levels.


For example, the trick 日本一周/nihon isshuu means “once around Japan” and you land the ball in the small cup, then the big cup and then on the spike.

Japan has held kendama contests since 1979.

But it’s regained popularity among adults recently as a hip toy and you can see endless youtubers show off their skills.

Inspired by yo-yos, dance and performance arts kendama play is changing.

Nowadays using your body movement for force and spinning the kendama have created a cool new way to play.

They’re easy and cheap to find in Japan and overseas, so try your hand at it:


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