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The Kendama Movement

For those who do not know what a Kendama is, here`s the official definition:
Kendama (けん玉, also written as 剣玉 and 拳玉) is a traditional Japanese toy which consists of a ken (sword) and tama (ball) connected by a string. The ken has three cups and a spike which fits into the hole in the ball. – Wikipedia

Kendama Tricks

© Kendama USA | This is what some of the Kendama tricks look like.

Kendama is foremost a toy, but there is also a also more serious and competitive forms of Kendama play which is overseen by the Japan Kendama Association. This toy miraculously has started a life of its own abroad and became hugely popular in Western street culture. It has also triggered many tournaments around the globe with players getting serious about Kendama.

AROUND THE WORLD “What the Dama!?”

This is the name of a recent design competition and exhibition at USN Gallery in Tokyo which has spawned an interesting collection of funky Kendama designs.

Kendama is the delinquent adopted child of Japanese toys that has recently taken the world by storm, finding a home with street culture.

2014 marks the year that kendama is coming back to Japan in a big way and it’s time for artists to put their stamp on it. We invite artists to express their artwork on blank kendamas to show the world ”What the Dama!?” this KENDAMA movement is all about.

The exhibition will feature over 50 artists bringing their personal style to the humble Kendama.

Below we have selected a few of the Kendama competition entries which are quite marvellous to look at: kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001  kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001 kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001kendama-competition-exhibition-ultra-super-newg-gallery-tokyo_001


To give you an idea what Kendama play looks like, see below video:


The exhibition is still running until 30th September 2014 and Kendama are available for sale in the USN shop.

Around the World “What the Dama!?”
Kendama Artist Collaboration
UltraSuperNew Gallery
9.12 Fri. – 9.30 Tue.
Open: Mon-Fri. 10:00-19:00

1-1-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo, JAPAN 150-0001

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Founder & designer at Tokyo based Bento Graphics Inc. Specialities are corporate identity design, interface design, user experience design and website/mobile development with responsive design.

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