Kendama has recently become incredibly popular in the US and is very much an up and coming craze here in the UK. Jac Products is at the forefront of the kendama phenomenon, with a range of exclusive kendama from SunRise from Europe and the very best offerings directly from Japan and the US we've got something for all levels of kendama skill. If you've never heard of kendama before it refers to a wooden cross shaped body that features two cups and a spike, this is attached two a string with a ball with a hole in it. It might sound like a simple prop but kendama is incredibly addictive and extremely difficult to master. The basic aim is to catch the ball (tama) in different ways on the body of the kendama. You can catch the ball on either cup (which are slightly different sizes) or on the spike but it can also be caught on the bottom or in the body of the kendama (the ken). It's similar to a conventional cup and ball game (balero) but with many more ways to play. Kendama can be played casually but those who master the art take it seriously.
The JKA (Japanese Kendama Association) established by Fujiwara holds many competitions each year and offers a grading system for kendama players. This grading system allows players to achieve different rankings in a similar way to martial arts belts. As an example the 10-kyu rating (the lowest beginner grade) can be achieved by simply catching the ball in the largest cup. As players progress through the rankings it is possible to reach a level at which multiple tricks and hundreds of different motions must be performed almost flawlessly to attain the ranking. As kendama is becoming increasigly popular in the UK there are now many more competitions and events popping up all over the country. Although the kendama can be traced back historically as far as 1777 being traded through the port of Nagasaki it is widely believed that Hatsukaichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture is responsible for the toys current form and dimensions as it was here that Hamaji Egusa first patented its current form in 1920. Kendama requires patience to master but just playing it casually is a great way to increase both fitness and concentration, in Japan it's often believed by employers that applicants with a high Dan ranking in kendama hold attributes that make them ideal employees!
We stock a great range of kendama from the JKA approved Ozora kendama to the American Yomega kendama (a more affordable variant and a great way to get into the sport). We also stock a huge range from SunRise, a big name in the European kendama community SunRise classic kendama are JKA approved where as their street kendama offer an ideal way to practice with the same build quality but a super resilient ball that doesn't scratch or wear as easily as most other kendama.