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From July 24th to August 5th, shipping delays of approximately 48 hours may occur due to our participation in the Kendama World Cup (KWC) in Japan.
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The History of Kendama

Most of us are familiar with Kendama as a Japanese skill game. But what exactly is behind the history of Kendama? And how did Kendama Europe come into existence?

Most of us are familiar with Kendama as a Japanese skill game. But what exactly is behind the history of Kendama? And how did Kendama Europe come into existence? In the coming weeks, we will regularly publish blog articles to provide you with a deeper insight into what's happening with us. Additionally, we will also inform you about interesting and current things.

In the first blog article from Kendama Europe, we will discuss the history of Kendama but also share the story Kendama consists of a ball (tama) with a hole (ana), connected to a handle, also called a sword (ken), by a string (ito). The tip of the handle is called the sword tip (ken-saki). On the so-called sara-do, the plate drum, there are two plates: the larger plate is called ōzara (大皿, big plate), and the smaller of the two plates is kozara (小皿, small plate). At the end of the handle is the smallest plate: the chūzara (中皿, middle plate). An elevation (subari-dome) on the handle is intended to prevent slipping during play.

Das Kendama

Except for the string, all parts of Kendama are made of wood. To practice some special tricks, a Kendama without a string is needed, although they are not as common or popular. The shape and painting of Kendama vary depending on the manufacturer and country of origin.

Many often wonder where exactly this wooden toy comes from. The origin of Kendama is still unknown to this day, but a similar device called Pommawonga ("spear the fish") is mentioned in the traditions of the Inuit, a people living in Arctic Northeast and Central Canada and Greenland, although it was not used for entertainment but for hunting rituals and ceremonies. The first records date back to the 16th century. At that time, in France, there was a toy called Bilboquet, which was often played by children in the streets of France during the summer. It is believed to be the precursor to the Japanese Kendama.

Kendama made its first appearance in Japan during the Edo period (1603–1868), coming to Nagasaki via the Silk Road. It was previously used as a toy for drinking games, called Sukuitamakeri (Spoon Kendama). The goal of this game was to catch the ball within five or three attempts. Those who failed had to drink. Only in the Meiji era (1868–1912) did the skill game also gain popularity among children and women, after the West made it popular in Japan. The Kendama, as the Japanese know it today, was created in 1918 by Hamaji Egusa by adding the small and large cups to the left and right. Thus, the name nichi getsu ball (Sun-Moon Ball) was born, later simplified to kendama (sword ball).

In recent years, the game of Kendama has evolved into a sport passionately played by many, from children to adults. Next Sunday, we will share more about our current Kendama models. Who knows, there might even be something new coming soon. So, stay tuned!

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