Juggle Store review
The Juggle Store is a shop located in Amsterdam that specializes in all sorts of juggling, circus and magic props and other equipment needed for performing. If you are passionate about juggling and have never visited this shop, either online or in person, then you need to check it out.
They claim to have the world’s best selection of Diabolos, devilsticks, and string; balls for juggling, bouncing and contact juggling; clubs, poi (including the new GlowPoi in strobe and slow fade), fire equipment, hoops, staffs, and Kendama in lots of colors.
Also included in the Juggle Store stock of merchandise are instructional DVDs for the beginner all the way up to advanced juggler instructional videos. You just never know when you will find something new to try. Kendama sounds interesting and they have a brand new instructional DVD called, “Kendama-First Clicks to Pro Tricks. This is a 50 minute training video that will cost you €12,50, or $16.80 US.
Kendama was first invented in 1918 by a man named Hamaji Egusa who lived in Hiroshima. He did not name it Kendama at first, however, it was first called “Nichi Getsu Ball”. The stick is called ‘ken’ and the ball is called ‘tama’. Those two are put together and the whole thing is called ‘kendama’.
Nichi Getsu Ball, or Sun Moon Ball, is a game which comes from the French game ‘Bilboquet’. Bilboquet means cup and ball in French and this game dates back to the 11th century. Very popular in the early 1700’s, Bilboquet was one of the very first “toy crazes” of that time.
The ball is attached to the cup apparatus by a string and the object of the game is to do tricks by spinning and catching the ball on one of the three cups or the spike at one end.
All the tricks have names and are as follows:
The first name listed is in Japanese and the second is the English name for the same trick.
Oozara / Big cup
Kozara / Small cup
Chuuzara / Base cup
Rousoku / Candlestick
Swinging Oozara – The string must remain taut until the ball is above the level of the ken
Tsubame / Orbit (Oozara>Orbit>Ozara)
Hikouki / Aeroplane
Moshikame for 10 catches (you must start with Oozara or Kozara then it is your choice as to what to do to continue this trick)
You can’t just use any old kendama for competitions, however, and the JKA, or Japanese Kendama Association, can tell you how to pick a certified sport kendama to use for your competition.
Competitions are held all over the world and at the IJA, The International Juggling Association’s annual event.
The Juggle Store can get you started with all the equipment you need and supply you with your certified sport kendama. I watched a couple of videos of people doing some tricks with the kendama and though it does not look very hard to do, it will take some practice especially to do some spins with the string and then learning to improvise with under the leg or behind the back tricks.