Kendama experts visited ASIJ to teach us about this traditional game

SONY DSC DSC05364 On October 16, four kendama experts came to ASIJ to share the history of kendama and to demonstrate their skills with the J4, AP Japanese and J6B classes. Among the four experts was Mr. Yoshimura, the “Kendama Rookie of the Year,” who showed us some amazing tricks. Kendama competitions are judged in the same way as kendo competitions and is recognized as a legitimate traditional cultural product, along with judo, tea ceremony, etc. Mr. Sato, Mr. Ono, and Mr. Yoshimoto held a kendama competition in each class and the winners from each class received a specially made, autographed kendama as the grand prize. “I never did kendama before and it was so much harder than it looked,” Kiara said. Students took our guests on a tour of the campus, explaining all the locations in Japanese to our interested visitors. At the end of the day, Tatiana commented, “The kendama experts did not speak English. So, we had to listen to their presentation and their instructions in Japanese. When I asked a question, it had to be Japanese. It was so nice to know that I don’t have any problem understanding them.” (Leslie Birkland and Kaori Hakone, HS Japanese)SONY DSC