Day two of NaBloPoMo. I'm doing pretty well so far, haha. I think I will introduce one of my dogs and my birds each day(Excluding Schroeder since I showed a picture of him yesterday) until I've shown a picture of each one. I'll start doing this tomorrow.
I think I'll talk some about Kendamas.
Kendama is a Japanese toy. It is a variation of Cup and Ball, only more fun in my opinion. You play by catching and spearing the ball in various ways or performing various juggles, balances or position sequences. Most people usually play for their own amusement, but there are kendama competitions also. The stick is called the Ken, and the ball is called the Tama. T and D are very similar in Japanese, so it is called a Kendama. It is hammer-like shaped with a spike on the top.
It has three cups that you can catch the Tama on, one on either side of the Ken and one on the bottom of the Ken. The piece that the two cups are on is called the Sarado (Cup Body). Each cup is a different size. The Kozara (Little Cup) is the smaller cup on the Ken, the Ozara (Big Cup) is the bigger cup on the Ken, and the Chuzara (Center Cup) is the cup on the bottom of the Ken. You can also catch the Tama on the spike, which is called the Kensaki (Stick Point). The hole on the Tama is called the Ana(Hole). The string is called the Ito (Thread). The sticker on the bottom of the Ken is the JKA kendama seal which shows that the kendama is certified by them. Only JKA certified kendama may be used in tournaments.
There are four types of holds for the kendama. The Sara Grip, the Ken Grip, the Tama Grip, and the Rosoku Grip. Of course, it's best to hold it in the way that feels comfortable to you, but you use certain grips for certain tricks. The main way I hold the kendama is like a pencil. To see the different grips, you should go to this link. While playing kendama, it is very important to bend your knees!
I currently have 2 kendamas. My first kendama is a TK16 with a black Tama. I bought my second kendama a couple of months ago. It was a plain, unpainted kendama. It's made from the wood of Zelkova trees, which have a pretty hard wood. It is not certified by JKA, but it has the JKA recommended product seal. I don't mind this too much because I'm not going to be playing in tournaments. It's a very sturdy kendama and hasn't gotten any dents or anything from me dropping it. I painted the tama of the kendama an orange-ish brown color.
I've gotten pretty good with the kendama, but I would still call myself a beginner. I've gotten the basics of juggling down I think. I've started getting the hang of spiking the Tama, but I'm still not that great at it. I can do a few small tricks like Candle and Swinging Candle. I can also do airplanes pretty well. I also made up a trick of my own. I use the Rosoku Grip and do a candle or swinging candle, then I toss the kendama in the air, catch the Ken and switch into a pencil like grip, swing the Tama around and catch it on the Ozara. I might post a video of me doing this sometime.
If you want to learn more about Kendamas or the History of Kendamas, you should go to the following links.
Also, here is the link to the Kendama USA Pro team page.