Kendama USA

Japan Update #2 from Keith

words by Keith Matsumura


Kendama World Cup has dominated the schedule recently here in Japan. To say that this is the biggest kendama event we have would be an understatement. Tens of thousands of people came through the event during the two days. There was an outside festival area and stage, and an inside stage where the actual performances and competition happened. It was a very intense couple of days. The first day was prelims, and I thought I wasn’t going to make it because I missed a trick in my opening runs. Every trick counts a lot for points at this competition too. As it turns out I made it through anyway to finals for the next day.

After prelims there was a huge kendama festival in Hatsukaichi near the birthplace of kendama, which was where the event was actually being held. It was crazy to see posters about kendama everywhere and everyone recognizing us and knowing all about kendama. Zoomadanke performed brilliantly as always at the festival and we all had a very good time.

Finals day was a long one. I got into my practice zone and got my run ready, but it ended up taking all day long for me to actually be up to do my run. I did well and couldn’t be more stoked on the eighth place outcome. Huge congratulations are to be made to Bonz Atron, Kris Bosch, and Satoru Akimoto for killing it so hard and taking top three spots.

It’s hard to put into words the experience at the World Cup. It is definitely the Olympics of Kendama. It’s taking kendama to a worldwide superstar level. I’m very stoked to see this event grow and continue over the coming years. I’m also very stoked to get some rest. It’s been a hectic few days since the last update. We’ve been filming and traveling from Hiroshima back to Osaka since the event. I have never been able to fall asleep so fast anywhere I am as I can here in Japan right now. I have sleep trick B honed in really, really well right now. Huge thanks to everyone that it happen.

I’m going to keep this update short and give you guys some pictures right now instead of more words. It’s about 2am in the morning here in a hotel room with Rodney Ansell and Eric Martin. We’re here for a night before we fly to Hokkaido tomorrow for top secret kinds of missions with Yuka Hyuga from Gloken, and we need to get some sleep. It’s hard to find time to write and wifi with all the craziness going on here, but bear with me I’ll get you more!

Peace for now!

- Keith M.

Dave and I getting to be Zoomadanke helpers on the sacred stage

Zack and I making it to finals

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