Is the Traditional Game Kendama Making a Comeback?

  • There are a number of traditional games which were played in Japan around a decade or two ago. Those were the days when the boom of electronic games had not hit quite yet and they were not as popular as they have become now in this generation.

    But one game that held on to the changing times is the kendama. Around a few years back in the 2000’s, kendama’s popularity surged outside of Japan resulting in the establishment of different communities spreading the game. Which begs the question of whether the traditional game kendama is making a comeback.

    What Is Kendama?

    Kendama is a traditional Japanese toy that has 3 parts which are the ball, the cups and the spike. The aim of the game is to be able to catch the ball in either of the 2 cups or to catch the ball by the opening with the spike while connected to the string.

    Kendama in Modern Times

    National Kendama tournaments are still held in Japan but the game has also spread and increased in popularity outside of the country. In 2006, Kendama USA and the British Kendama Association were founded and the associations began to promote Kendama in North America and Europe.

    Earlier kendama in Japan had more subtle and plain designs and were made of wood, but nowadays different companies like Sanrio and Beams are showing their own creativity by adding their cute characters to the design of the cup and ball game. Asobeams from Beams also started accepting early reservations from March 11th for Kendama Tohoku, marking the Great Tohoku Disaster Anniversary and as well as for their Omiyage Project.

    Kids nowadays would rather play with their DS or go to the arcade and play a Yokai Watch game or Pokemon Tretta but that doesn’t mean older kids and young adults like us can’t get into the game. Time to take out those hidden kendamas or you can purchase the Kendama Tohoku at Beams Store until the end of April too!

    Kendama, the traditional Japanese toy
    3 of The Most Famous Traditional Japanese Toys