The Japanese believe that the kendama is an educational toy that trains the brain to focus and is played prior to long periods of concentration. Most children growing up in Japan have played with a kendama, a traditional wooden toy consisting of a ken (sword) and tama (ball) connected by a length of string. The ken has 3 cups and a spike that fits into a hole that is drilled through the center of the tama. The challenge is to launch the ball upward and then catch it in one of the cups or land on the spike. It is a straightforward game that makes the player totally focused on the coordination of the body, hand & eyes.
Like the yo-yo, in the past 20 years, kendamas have grown in popularity amongst the freestyle skateboarding & snowboarding communities in Europe & North America. These players have taken the simple game to the next level with extreme moves set to music. More recently, the game has been re-imported back to Japan in a form that is barely recognizable from it’s origins. The original game is believed to have developed from France’s bilboquet which can be traced back to the 16th century and was even played by King Henry III. The toy made its way to Nagasaki around the late 18th century, as that was the only Japanese port open to foreign trade at the time.
At Get the Goods we stock the colourful pop kendamas of Copenhagen based Krom Kendama. We also stock the exclusive collectors Mugen Musou Kendama made by Kazumi Iwata, a Japanese legend in the world of kendama. It’s a super fun way to prep yourself to concentrate – a perfect gift for a high school student or the big “little” kid that still likes to play.
Origin: Japan, Copenhagen