What is Kendama?

The kendama (けん玉, “sword [and] ball”) is a traditional Japanese skill toy. It consists of a handle (ken), a pair of cups (sarado), and a ball (tama) that are all connected together by a string. On one end of the ken is a cup, while the other end of ken is narrowed down, forming a spike (kensaki) that fits into the hole (ana) of the tama.

The kendama is the Japanese version of the classic cup-and-ball game, and is also a variant of the French cup-and-ball game bilboquet. Kendama can be held in different grips, and the tricks and combinations that can be done are limitless. The game is played by tossing the ball into the air and attempting to catch it on the stick point. (Wikipedia)

What is the history of the Kendama?

It is generally believed that the kendama originated in the 17th and 18th century in Japan. The hobby has since garnered a cult following of enthusiasts across the world.

There are kendama tournaments held all over the world with the biggest competition, the Kendama World Cup taking place annually in Japan.

Hatsukaichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture is considered to be the birthplace of the modern Japanese Kendama due to the city becoming the first place for kendama manufacturing.

Hamagatsu Ekusa created the shape of the kendama that is widely recognized today in 1919 in Kure city.

During the early 20th century the toy had two side cups and was called a jitsugetsu ball (日月ボール)., literally translating to “sun and moon ball”, because of the ball’s representation of the sun and the cups’ likeness to the crescent moon. (Wikipedia)

What makes the Kendama special?

Kendama’s come in all shapes and sizes and are typically created out of wood, plastic, metal, or nylon.

Kendama is a fun hobby for people of all ages and can be played in a competition setting, to learn tricks or for simple fun.

This simple toy has many benefits including improved hand-eye coordination, sequencing, focus and creativity.

Where can you buy a Kendama?

To find your first Kendama we recommend checking out a local toy store, buying from an online retailer or checking out this collection of Krom Kendama’s on Amazon.

KROM Kendama Pro Model For Beginners and Experts Available from Amazon Prime here…

What kind of tricks can you do with a Kendama?

There are many kendama tricks that you can learn, but we recommend getting started with the basics. Learn a few simple tricks to get started before stepping up to more complicated moves.

Check out this excellent video on kendama tricks for beginners here:

Check out this extensive list of kendama tricks from when you are ready to try some more complicated moves!

Looking for more fun handheld hobbies? Check out our list of 12 Handheld Hobbies for People On-The-Go here…