Author Topic: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th  (Read 26982 times)

Offline shalafi

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #45 on: 17 July, 2012, 10:25:42 »
I want to come back from Lublin with my JKA -AND- my BKA gradings :-P Hopefully one of them will be a Dan.
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Offline The Void

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #46 on: 17 July, 2012, 10:34:44 »
Ha, well you better do the BKA one first then. (Because BKA recognises your last JKA exam date, but not vice versa.) If you do a JKA grading, I won't let you take a BKA grading until another week (or month, depending on where you got to) has passed.

Offline shalafi

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #47 on: 17 July, 2012, 16:21:13 »
Good point, it will also serve me as a training ground for the JKA one :)
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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #48 on: 18 July, 2012, 00:39:31 »
Here's something I forgot to mention. There was a Challenge Your Dan competition before the main finals. Basically a trick ladder, 2 attempts per player - miss and you're out. I think there were something like 3 or 4 divisions, and Nic won the one below Expert level. Way to go, man!

Although I wish I had realised that I was allowed to compete in this one, I'd have loved to have given it a shot!

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #49 on: 18 July, 2012, 13:02:42 »
On Monday morning Alice & I headed off to Shin-Osaka train station with Basti, exchanged our Japan Rail pass orders for tickets, and took a ride to Kyoto. It was Marine Day (a national public holiday in Japan), so Kyoto was thronging. We took a bus through town, seeing all the festival preparations and portable shrines being set up in town, and Basti giving us a few tips on the language. But we were heading for the outskirts, to a famous temple. Basti's genius was knowing that the temple was not part of the main festival celebrations, and therefore would not be jam packed. Sitting for a rest at the demon gate, we were talking away whilst idly playing sitting kendama, and I hit an Everest! (Take that, Sam! ;) ) Indeed it was very quiet inside, so we had a pleasant afternoon wandering around, watching monks burn incense, pray and tend the shrines, strolling through the grounds, watching the masses of koi carp, observing the artwork and buildings (which you could also call artwork). 

Then we took a stroll up a ravine, to a waterfall. There was a small changing bay, and a screen in front of the falls, so we stripped off and each took a gloriously refreshing shower underneath it. There may or may not be photo and video evidence, which may or may not contain kendama.

Back down the hill, we filmed a couple of tricks each outside the temple, and then, heading back to the bus stop, had a delicious sandwich lunch in a small cafe.

Then it was back to Kyoto to the Shinkansen to Tokyo. Great train. We should be so lucky. A short commute took us to Basti's place for some much need relaxation for the evening. Bed time.

Basti was off to work on Tuesday morning, so it was Tourist Day for the 2 of us. We checked in at our hotel, then saw Ueno park, the grand fountain, the Ameyoko shopping street, (which was a cool melange of fish market, gadget shops, restaurants and funky clothes stores), another big temple (with a massive lantern or 3) from which you could see the ginormous new Sky Tree tower, and Akihabara. Also called Electric Town - think Maplins or Radio shack, exploded to cover a small district, and then add neon (although we saw it in daylight). I saw a couple of kendamas for sale near the temple, one of which looked quite nice until I noticed the sara-do was held on with a massive staple!

In the evening we met up with Basti and Shimadera-San and Akimoto-San for a traditional Japanese-style dinner. Lots of yummy stuff. The expert players let me have another crack at Speed Trick B. I didn't have one of my JKA kendamas with me, but funnily enough, the hotel had had an Oozora in their lobby. I'd borrowed it for the evening, leaving my Sunrise as collateral. Meanwhile, in the gangway of a not-brilliantly lit restaurant, they weren't ideal conditions, but why not? 

Fail. :-/

Back to the hotel for an early night.

Good Zzzzzs

On Wednesday, we met up again with Nic and Akimoto-San for a visit to the JKA office! They have a glass cabinet with oodles of rarities in there. We were even allowed to play with a few of them! But I'd come for my next day's crack at STB. I'd had a bit of a warm up, so when Akimoto-San said "practice" while holding the stopwatch, I said "I've done my practice", and then was given the Go! A few minor fluffs and I managed to hit it in 53 seconds! However, just after I'd started it began to dawn on me that I hadn't made myself quite clear, and Akimoto-San still thought this was just a practice run. Oops. Ah well, a good warm-up. 

Now for the real thing: Go!

Damn, missed an Around.... And another, oh and again, and abloodygain, and another one, twice, oh sod it, let's bail.

2nd try. Again, some minor string fumblery, a few misses, but I finish off not too badly...... But it's 65 seconds. Dammit! Got a few tips on STB technique from the master though, so I will go away and work on those.

A little bit of tricking (no knees 1-t LH, anyone? Or how about no-legs?) and we were off to cram in a bit more sightseeing. Had a wander around Harajuku, and ended up being photo-interviewed for a magazine. ("What would you do if you had the money to start your own business?" "Kendama Dojo!") Saw a few funky people, and I thought about buying a kimono. Failed to find the Shibuya crosswalk. Back to the Shinkansen, and Osaka, for a farewell evening meal with the Yano family.

Offline The Void

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #50 on: 18 July, 2012, 13:05:31 »
Update: Murotani-San was last year's all Japan champ, not the reigning one. Previous post modified.

Offline SamB

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #51 on: 18 July, 2012, 15:57:53 »
Sounds like a dream kendama trip. I've never landed standing everest let alone sitting so you can have that one for sure!
So close to 4th dan - you must get it in Poland!
BKO 2011 - 2nd, SRC 2011 - 2nd,  SRC 2012 - 2nd, EJC 2012 (unicorns) - 2nd, SRC 2013 - 2nd, BKO 2013 - 3rd - Always the bridesmaid...

Offline The Void

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #52 on: 19 July, 2012, 14:30:39 »
Yano-San collected us from the station and took us back home, where Izumi-San had prepared a lovely meal for us. Japanese style again. Fun with chopsticks, but we did both have to cave in and use a fork in the end.

Then, "do you want to go shopping?" Hmmm, at 9pm? Sure, why not! We went to a shop that was part gift-store, part hardware store and part food store! Goodies were got. Jeff and Alex joined us, and then it was off to a cocktail bar, to meet Yano-san's eldest daughter, and some drinks. But wait.... They're arranging drinks and glasses on the bar.... There are trophies on a shelf.... We're invited to sit up right at the bar and then, we get our own special Cocktail Flare show, music, lights, great skills, smiles and presentation from 2 cool and highly talented female Flarers, all literally 2 feet in front of our eyes! Wow, that was a fantastic end to the evening.

Back home to pack. This presents a minor problem... But a good one, since Yano-San has VERY generously donated a mass of kendamas as prizes for the upcoming EKO, including some highly sought-after rarities. Right then.... cram, cram, cram and cram some more, our cabin baggage is going to be a bit heavier than it was on the way out!

4 hours before we have to get up again? Zoiks! 

Mmmwwhhhrrruuhhmm? Morning. Shower. Kiwi fruit. Shades.

Off to the airport to meet up with Alex and Jeffrey and their host family for a final mass farewell. Hmmmm, wait, it's a new day.... Yano-San, may I attempt Speed Trick B before we go to boarding? Yes? Great!!!!

Warm ups didn't work out too well for me last time, so I'll go straight into it this time.

Hajime!

Okay, good start. Missed the Prefecture though. Got it. Now the Japan goes wrong. And again, this time on the last catch. Argh. Come on, get it 3rd time, yes. AAAH, but don't miss the World immediately afterwards, you idiot. Come on! Oh no, now I've messed up Europe. Finally I get past the Arounds, and all the rest is okay. But, yeah, you guessed it, way too slow. 73 seconds.

Oooooooookkkkaaaaaayyyyyy then....

Breathe. Focus. How about I focus on less on the Speed and more on the Trick bit? 2nd go... Hajime!

Better, first 2 okay, missed the 2nd cup of Japan, but get it second time. World done. Good, focus. Slight wobble on Europe, but it's clean. Alright, I neeeeed these last 5 to be good. The Earth... Turns! The Bird perches, and goes In. Come on, easy now. These next two can be killers. Stick? Jumped! I can probably only afford 1 or 2 misses on these last 2 at best. Ah, 1TAero.... straight in? That'll do! Steady now.... Falling Down should be a doodle. SHINEN! Lighthoused... easy... drop it... It's in!

Yano-san's face is calm and impassive. "Ah....". He turns his phone to show me the time.

45.9 seconds!

YES! Finally got it, at my very last opportunity in Japan. Whooooo!!! No, I don't mean that, I mean WHHOOOOO-HOOOOO!! That's enough for me to only have to get the compulsory tricks in Poland to get 4th Dan. Fingers crossed for that. Maybe I can kid myself I'm 3.67th Dan at the moment. Then again, "Top 16 in the world" is pretty good too (Hey, Nic, how do you like the view from up here?!).

A last little kendama session (Stigmata and Half-Swirl Aero lesson) while J & A try to sort out a flight logistics issue, and then it's through the gates and security, a coffee, and on to the boarding gate.

I'm typing this on the plane (The coffee's still not that great). I've now left Japan, and my first visit there was fantastic. Everyone was so polite and friendly (the whole population, not just the kendama players), and it was an absolute joy to have had the chance to be here. Everyone was so very generous, and I have had some lovely gifts from lots of lovely people. A HUGE thanks to Yano-San for his invitation and his whole family's warm and generous hospitality. Also huge respect and thanks to Yano-san and all the kendama players of his Kansai (Osaka) branch of the JKA who organised and helped to run the WKC. And big smiles and Thank You to David from Sunrise for helping to make the trip possible for me.

Japan's a wonderful country, and I WILL be back. Kendama players around the world, start to learn a little Japanese (even if it's just Please, Thank You, that kind of stuff), and start your "Japan trip fund" rolling Right Now! You HAVE to come next year. (And to be clear, you DON'T need an invitation to come. Everyone is very warmly welcomed at the Fujiwara Issei Cup (World Kendama Championships).)

Okini!

Okay, that's probably the end of this blog. Thanks for reading, I hope you've got a taste of how fantastic it all was.

Click click click,
COME TO JAPAN!!!!

Offline The Void

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #53 on: 19 July, 2012, 14:31:14 »
Update: Murotani-San is 14. Yes, the World Kendama Champion is 14. Crikey!

Offline The Void

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #54 on: 20 July, 2012, 17:29:41 »
I've now collected all my Japan/WKC photos from my camera, iPad and phone into one place. Click the pic for the whole gallery.
No hot linking or re-uploads, please: just share the page URL. Thanks.
« Last Edit: 24 July, 2012, 13:02:51 by The Void »

Offline The Void

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #55 on: 20 July, 2012, 19:55:35 »
A whole bunch more are here: http://www.fakoriginal.com/fak%27s_fotos/Japan_2012/
No hot linking or re-uploads, please: just share the page URL. Thanks.
« Last Edit: 24 July, 2012, 13:03:14 by The Void »

Offline Oase

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #56 on: 21 July, 2012, 12:08:13 »
Nice Gallery !! great time you had there !!!!


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Offline BKA

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Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
« Reply #59 on: 25 July, 2012, 14:57:12 »
A nice little highlights video from Mahoto-san:


His channel has lots of the battles on there too:
http://www.youtube.com/user/mahoto/videos

 

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