Class Ideas

What is different between tradiaional kendama and street kendama?

Author:Yoko Nishimura-Parke

Topic/Goals:Connection、Link with Other Subjects、Link with Outside of Classroom、Social Environment、Social Life、Spare Time and Sports


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Students will read the interview article on Mr Komoto, who launched a new wave of kendama, and learn what is attractive about kendama. Students are provided with the opportunity to reflect on traditional forms and new skills and styles. Also, by interviewing parents and grandparents on what games they played as children, students learn about the changes in lifestyles of now and then.


• Understanding the charm of kendama.
• reflect on traditional forms and new skills and styles, and think of other examples in which basic forms are important.
• Interview family members to research games and toys enjoyed by different generations and create a Venn diagram.

Target Senior high school level or higher
Japanese Level Advanced
What to prepare


1. Questions to help students' comprehension

a) How was Mr Komoto's first experience of kendama?

b) What happened four years ago?

c) What is attractive about kendama?

d) How does Mr Komoto explain the importance of 型, forms?

e) How many kendama does Mr Komoto have? Why does he need that many?

f) Do you think Mr Komoto values the traditional styles of kendama? Why do you think so?

g) Do you think Mr Komoto loves practising kandama? Why do you think so?

h) How do we know that Mr Komoto is a sociable person?

i) Explain his future plans.

2. Discussion points

a) Mr Komoto says 僕のけん玉もかわってきたと思います. Why do you think his style of kendama has been changing since he started to challenge the test of the Japan Kendama Association?

b) In order to devise a new style of kendama, it is important to master the basic moves. What other examples of this can you think of? Think about dance, music, sports, and other activities.

c) Ask people of different generations what games they played as children (indoor and outdoor games). Compare them to the games you play and create a Venn diagram. Share the findings with your classmates.

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