Kendama: A Ball in the Cup

By Cliff Yung on February 27, 2014

Baring a similarity to the Yoyo, the Kendama is an interestingly odd toy that is growing in popularity among children ranging from Kindergarten to many in high school. This children’s toy came from Japan and is often compared to the Latin ball-in-the-cup game which is played on the toy, Balero. It is a simple mind numbing game that allows for many kids to enjoy the simplicity of getting the ball tied to a hammer shaped wooden tool into one of the four cups that are built into the tool. And, with an average price tag that ranges between 5 to 20 dollars, it is no wonder why children are picking this toy up.

As found on

However, this simple game much like the practitioners of Yoyo is much more complex then it seems at first. Sure, you can get the ball in the many obvious places, the top spike, left side of the hammer, right side of the hammer, and the bottom of the hammer. The actual goal or nature of the Kendama game is to get the ball to get the ball on become stationary on any part of the wooden hammer. This leads to many further complexities that ranges from simply moving the ball in quick succession from one stationary place into another, trading the toy between hands, a complex movement that causes the whole toy to experience centripetal g forces thus causing the toy to seemingly spin out of control but, using Newton’s first law of motion stops the ball or the wooden hammer causing the ball to land somewhere on the wooden hammer, or any combinations of the fore mentioned.

Link: Professional Kendama

Kendamas are great toys for all ages and it is good practice for hand eye coordination. Though like many other toys in the wrong hands, it can be a little dangerous as the toy resembles a mace with a hammer as its handle. The toy would still be in the category of the Yoyo, a game for all ages that is fun, simple, quick, and intriguing.

To Buy: Kendama Usa SiteAmazon

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