Well, this is something new.
It turns out that the infuriating childhood game of ‘get the little ball-on-a-string into the little wooden cup’ is known as ‘kendama.’ In addition, there exists a dedicated community of kendama players united by a group known as the Global Kendama Network, or GLOKEN. And in hopes of spreading the culture of kendama and displaying the ways it has caught on internationally, GLOKEN recently held their first annual Kendama World Cup in Hiroshima.
What can one even do with just a wooden cup, ball and string that would be enough to justify a fullscale, international competition? The clip above will give you some idea, showcasing a few World Cup hopefuls as they show off their unique skill, executing combination moves with poetic and evocative names like ‘Swing Bird, 2-Turn Gunslinger Over the Valley, Spike.’
And, as it so happens, the winner of the 2014 Kendama World Cup is Bonz Atron, an American. U-S-A! U-S-A!