Masterfully made, limited edition kendama on sale at the world champs this weekend in Hatsukaichi.
¥12,000 may seem like a lot of money for a wooden toy, but Kazuma Iwata’s creations are not mere toys. – becoming increasingly popular around the world, fans Kendama [けん玉] is a traditional Japanese game in which you try to catch the ball on one of the 3 cups or on the spike. It has been growing in popularity in recent years and has come to resemble a bone fide sport as much as a kids’ game. In 2013, players around the world were excited to hear that, after a hiatus, Iwata was to restart production of his Mugen Musou range of kendama at his workshop in Hatsukaichi, widely thought to be the birthplace of the kendama.
Mugen Musou are handcrafted and painted by Iwata and consist of beech wood spikes and balls made from sakura cherry. Paint designs enhance tracking and materials provide the perfect degree of stickiness, which along with dual-angled rims, make it easier to nail high-scoring tricks.
Plus, they are beautiful.
EARTH Hiroshima have partnered with Iwata to produce a limited edition Earth inspired kendama. Only 90 have been produced and will be on sale at the Glokken Kendama World Cup in Hatsukaichi, July 22-23. It’s free to go and watch the competition, so why not go and check out the EARTH Hiroshima booth while you are there.
You can get an idea of the work that goes into each of Kazuma Iwata’s creations in the videos below.