Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kendama Toy

Do you know what a kendama is?  Well, I only know because a long time ago my family was a host family for two Japanese exchange students.  These students brought our family gifts, and one of the gifts was a kendama.  It looks very similar to the one below:

I still have the one given to my family, but it's packed away, and I didn't have time to find it for this post.  If you click on the picture above, you can view a video of how the game is played. 

Currently, the kendama toy is ALL THE RAGE at my sons' elementary school.  Don't know what a kendama is?  Well, here's the Wikipedia definition right here:

"...a traditional Japanese toy which consists of two wooden cups of different sizes placed on the center of a wooden spike and smaller cup with a ball connected by a string.  In English, kendama may be referred to as ring and pin and bears similarities to the classic cup-and-ball game, known in the Latin American world as balero. The principle of these toys are the same: catching one object with another, where both are joined by a string."

The kendama that my family received as a gift from our Japanese exchange students was handmade, and I've also seen the same type of toy handmade from Mexico.  

Being that I've seen them made by hand, I thought I'd check Etsy and see if there were any available for my boys.  I didn't have much luck.  The search came up with only THREE results, one of which was only the picture of they toy on a t-shirt.  A second wasn't quite the kendama we were looking for (as it only had the stick, with no cups).  The third is the ONLY kendama toy that fit, made in Thailand by Etsy shop Thewooden.  Here it is:

My son saw this kendama and liked it, but it wasn't quite exactly what he wanted.  I was a bit disappointed that I didn't find more on Etsy.  I was expecting a little bit more - at least more from my search than only three items...I had to continue my search elsewhere on the Internet.  I went to eBay and Amazon, of course! 
 This one is from eBay, from Hong Kong, China, with a starting bid of $2.99 and free shipping.
This one was found on Amazon, and has a much more modern look, priced at about $20 and ships from the U.S.

There was quite a lot to choose from at these two Internet shopping Hot Spots!  Now, when I go to do some Christmas shopping...I have a few different kendama toys to choose from saved in my "wish list!"

Have you heard of the kendama toy?  Which one out of the four shown here do you like best?


Yankee Burrow Creations said...

I had a toy similar to this when I was younger (a life time ago). I hated it because I could NEVER CATCH THE BALL. hahahaha. Kind of like a paddle ball...I can only hit it once then it just bounces and swings all over the place. :0P

Hi, Im Kelly! said...

oh how neat!! that looks like fun :)

Sandy said...

I haven't heard of the kendama toy, but I have seen them and the European styles as well. I like the last one with the face..too funny! said...

First time hearing of the game, but seems like a fun game for older kids. I always prefer activities that don't involve screens, flashing lights, loud noises, etc. you know? Albeit it is a little dangerous for younger kids, I could see some eminent boo boos in our future if I gave one to my toddler!

2justByou said...

Oh yes, this is a toy for older children. It could definitely be a toy that leads to some sort of injury (I could actually see myself smashing my fingers or something, so if I could picture me doing that...I could just imagine...).

Thank you all for your comments! Love reading them!

Mohala Johnson said...

These are super fun yet challenging!