Kendama, the Traditional Japanese toy

  • Have you ever seen or played a Yo-Yo, Diabolo or merely a cup-and-ball? Then you can probably easily understand Kendama as well. It is a traditional Japanese toy with three cups and a spike which fits into the hole in the ball.

    History of Kendama

    The origins of Kendama are still unknown but scientists assume that this toy has been present in the history of mankind from immemorial times and it was used as some sort of training in hunting cultures to master hand-eye co-ordination. However, the Japanese Kendama has become a pastime toy for children only in the 18th century and through the Silk route it has arrived even in France. The French have “Bilboquet” toy which is similar to Kendama. In 1919, Hamaji Egusa from Hatsukaichi city in Hiroshima prefecture remodelled the toy and applied for a patent. From then, the modern Kendama`s birthplace has been Hatsukaichi. This toy has become so popular that even fan associations across many countries emerged. Nation level tournaments and competitions have started taking place as well. The Japanese Kendama Association has been conducting Kendama contests since 1979. British Kendama Association was the first association to hold Kendama games outside of Japan in 2008. There are many tricks in how to play Kendama. Even Robotic Kendama games are also being held.

    Game rules

    The main goal of the game is to hold the ball in any one of the cups or make it land with the hole on the spike. One holds the toy and pulls the ball upward and sees if the ball lands on any cup. Just repeat and see how many points you can get in a row. There are many ways to play this game and you can choose your own game mode. It is a simple, nice and fun toy with basic principles. So, buy one and start playing too!