Kendamas ken-not be resisted by the students at Faith Lutheran Middle/High


Xavier Covarrubias

Liam Neeson and Finn Stanley facing off in a game known as ken. This shows one of the various games kids could play with the kendama.

Xavier Covarrubias, Staff Writer

The kendama, a toy created in 1777 regains its popularity with the middle schoolers of

Faith Lutheran Middle schoolers from sixth to eighth grade started bringing kendamas towards the beginning of 2015. This started with the sixth graders bringing them to school.

The middle schoolers bought them either online at Kendama USA or at KendamaLV.

These are worth nineteen to one hundred dollars.

The word kendama means sword and ball. These were first established in Japan in 1777 via the Silk Road. At first, its original name was a jitsugetsu ball, which means “sun and moon ball”. But later, in 1919 a man named Hamaji Egusa applied for a patent of the toy and gave it the name it has now.

To use it, the user must hold the wooden handle, swing the ball up, then catch the ball on either the cups or the spike on the handle. The tricks for this consists of juggling the ball between the cups, balancing, and juggling the kendama. The kids usually play with it, before or after school.

Middle school assistant principal, Mr. Jacob Kothe, thinks that the kendamas are better for kids than them being on phones all the time. ”I think that these are good for hand-eye coordination, and it’s better than kids being on their phones all the time,” said Kothe.

Sixth grader Danny Ruettiger thinks that the kendamas are popular because these are fun.

“I think these are popular becuase it is addicting and also is fun to do if you’re really bored,” said Ruettiger.

Japan holds various competitions for this wooden toy. However, the Global Kendama Network held the first Kendama World Cup in Hatsukaichi, Japan in 2014. In this the competitors had to choose five out of one hundred techniques and try to complete them within a specific time limit. There are levels for the tricks from one to ten. The higher the level the competitiors go, the more points they get. The first place winner was a man from the USA named Bonz Atron with a total of 846 points. This information came from http://

Kothe does not recall about allowing them into the school and is totally fine with it.

“They just started showing up and up to this point the students have been responsible with them, using them before or after school,” said Kothe.

A lot of kids have brought them and maybe more will come in later into the year, or maybe a different toy from the past might start showing up at school and become popular again.