Jun 22, 2018 Event Hatsukaichi

Amazing World of Kendama. Kendama Worldcup in Hiroshima!

#Event ,#Event2018 ,#Kids ,#Sports Competition ,#Summer

The Kendama Worldcup, the most prestigious competition in the world of kendama, will be held again this year at Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima. A delicate yet intense battle carried out over 2 days; why not see it with your own eyes? Because kendama is such a simple game, you can enjoy it even if you’re seeing it for the first time and don’t know the rules! Be amazed by the magnificent tricks pulled off by the world’s top kendama players.

What is Kendama Worldcup?

As the name suggests, the Kendama Worldcup is a tournament where players compete in kendama skill for 2 days. The 25 players who survived the qualifying round on Day 1, along with 7 seed players and 4 wild cards, will make up the 36 players competing in the finals on Day 2. In the qualifier, players have 3 minutes to complete a maximum of 6 tricks from the official trick list. Each player will do this twice, and their score will be judged out of 100.

In the final, players will take the stage one at a time, and will complete as many tricks as they can in 3 minutes. The points received in the qualifying stage and the final stage will be added up to calculate the final score.

The first Kendama Worldcup was held in 2014. Every year it attracts more attention, and the 2017 competition had 387 players from 14 countries. The number of spectators was over 50,000! The competition is still young, but it’s already very popular. By comparing these numbers with the capacity of the ”Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium”, home of the baseball team Hiroshima Toyo Carp, which is only 33,000 people. You can see just how big the competition is.

The Battleground is in Hatsukaichi, the Birthplace of Kendama Culture

This fierce competition will take place in Hatsukaichi city, Hiroshima, known to those in the know as the birthplace of kendama. Ever since the first Kendama Worldcup in 2014, this city has continually been selected as the host.

A bit about the history of kendama itself; it was first brought into Japan in the Edo period. At the time, it was a simple thing made of just a sword and ball. Later, in the Taisho period, Hamaji Egusa made various improvements, such as adding cups to it, creating something called “jitsugetsu ball,” which is kendama as we know it today. Hamaji Egusa commissioned Hatsukaichi city, known for its woodworking, to manufacture the product and created modern kendama culture together with the city.

They also have “Woodworking Center” where professionals produce handcrafted kendama. You can visit the center if you make a reservation a week in advance. It is a bit far from the Kendama Worldcup venue, but it’s a great chance to experience masters at work. If you have the time, why not go for a visit?

Woodworking Center
Address 5-95, Mokuzaikou kita, Hatsukaichi (map)
Closest Station 15mins walk from Hiroden Hatsukaichi Station
Open 9:30a.m-4:30 p.m
Closed Monday, 8/12-15, National Holidays,
the End of year
Website Facebook

The Highlights of Kendama!

In recent years, kendama has become popular worldwide, and more people are seeing it in the media.The biggest appeal is the fact that anyone can do it if they just have a kendama. It was originally just a toy, so it isn’t expensive, and anyone can freely try it out. This casual enjoyment also extends to the spectators.

Put the ball through the spike, or put it in the cup; these simple rules mean that people watching don’t need any prior knowledge. Part of the reason for its popularity is that even if you don’t know the names of any of the tricks, you can still enjoy watching it. Relax and enjoy the speedy and skillful tricks! All that is used is one kendama, which even a child could use. There’s almost no difference in skill between genders, ages, and body types. There have been many cases where people in their low teens stood on the podium.

As of May 2018, Soma Kanemoto, the Hiroshima player who has been active in many competitions including the Kendama Worldcup, is still only 15 years old! The fact that every player has an equal chance is another big part of kendama’s appeal.

Loads of Special Spec, Limited Edition Items!

Every year, merchandise stalls line up at the Kendama Worldcup venue. In the past, they’ve sold special, limited edition kendama that you can’t get anywhere else, and there will probably be many people coming for those. These kendama, made with expert craftsmanship, are also works of art. They don’t cost too much, so it’s a good choice for a souvenir from your trip Japan. You can use it as a toy or for competition, but it can also be used as an ornament in your living room!

Event Information

Kendama Worldcup  
Venue Hatsukaichi City Sports Center Sancherry 
6-1-1, Kushido, Hatsukaichi  (map)
Closest Station Hatsukaichi-Shiyakusho-mae
Miyauchi Station
Miyauchi-Kushido Station
Date Middle of September
(Sep 21-22 in 2018)
Website Official Website

How to Access

-Hiroshima Electric Railway Miyajima Line No.2
10-minute walk from Hatsukaichi-Shiyakusho-mae (Hera) Station or Miyauchi Station

-Hiroden bus bound for Hiroshima or Ono
2-minute walk from Nanao-chuggako Bus stop

-JR Sanyo Line
10-minute walk from Miyauchi-Kushido Station


 In this article we went over the appeal of the Kendama Worldcup. Great sightseeing spot Miyaima is located quite near from Hatsukaichi city, so you can take a small trip to Miyajima at the same time.

It’s my top recommendation for people already addicted to kendama, and for those who are interested but haven’t tried it yet. If you’re visiting Hiroshima around this time, consider adding it to your sightseeing schedule. By the time you leave the venue, your heart will be pounding with excitement!


Photo Credid: GLOKEN