The Kendama Forum

Forum categories => Events, meets & competitions => Topic started by: BKA on 06 April, 2012, 14:52:38

Title: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: BKA on 06 April, 2012, 14:52:38
http://www.facebook.com/events/355635541141037/ (http://www.facebook.com/events/355635541141037/)
(http://www.kendama.or.jp/wp-content/themes/welcart_default_kai/images/bg_kendama.png)

1st-3rd Dan trick list
けん玉フェスタ2012 世界けん玉選手権①  kendama festa 2012 Ⅷ "wkc" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwW4p-dxqYg#ws)

4th-6th Dan Trick list:
けん玉フェスタ2012 世界けん玉選手権②  kendama festa 2012 Ⅸ "wkc" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75NZZ46MzKk#ws)

Good luck to Void and Alex!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 06 April, 2012, 15:33:23
Really excited to be going to this. Big thanks to David at Sunrise for helping to make this possible for me.

Lots of new tricks to practise between now and then. And a dilemma: What if I manage to pass 4th Dan, while I'm there? I'll have to step up a division. #gettingaheadofmyself  8)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: BKA on 06 April, 2012, 16:16:38
Good luck to Void and Alex!
...and to Nicholas and Tyler! And to anyone else who will have to battle the Japanese masters on their home soil.
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: RodDama on 06 April, 2012, 18:06:21
Must you be a Dan to compete??  I will actually be in japan at this time anyway!!  And it would be alot of fun!!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 06 April, 2012, 18:27:40
There are other categories, not just Dan - check the Facebook page.
And fun is guaranteed, for sure!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: SamB on 06 April, 2012, 21:28:33
Well Jealous. Next year maybe... Best of luck guys. I look forwards to the photos and videos!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: KendaMushroom on 12 April, 2012, 17:47:50
Oh yes it's gonna bloody rock!! that's some spicy tricks, love it!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: BKA on 25 April, 2012, 15:31:39
The 1-3 Dan and 4+ Dan videos are back up, at new URLs (See first post).
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 15 May, 2012, 19:04:11
Practising! Both Dan levels.
WKC practice session - juggling videos hosted @ Juggling.tv (http://juggling.tv/12027#id=http://juggling.tv/nuevo/econfig.php?key=07c6cf93f139e12d6202)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: KendaMushroom on 23 May, 2012, 20:56:54
I loved the part with the succesful 2 turn airplane !!! haha epic

Void apparently, you are allowed to challenge your dan, so if you dont pass the 4th dan before the comp you can still enter 4th and above. I'm hoping i can pass anything before so that even in 1st I can challenge myself to 4th and above. :)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 24 May, 2012, 10:22:50
Challenge your Dan? Hmmm interesting. Now I have to work out which set of tricks I prefer. :-)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: KendaMushroom on 25 May, 2012, 16:06:41
I prefere 4th and over, a part from the center cup scoop...impossible! haha
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 01 July, 2012, 14:24:57
2 weeks to go! Woo hoo!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: Craftybuddy on 01 July, 2012, 14:34:18
I am translating right at this minute the agenda and introduction of this Championship into English, so I will email you later, Void.

Yoko x  ;)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 10 July, 2012, 12:45:54
Just about finished packing, then it's time for my last practice session before flying out. Woo! I will try to use this thread as a blog for my travels. I'm not sure how much wifi access I'll have, so maybe keep an eye on my Twitter too.
(<---- Link's over there)

VERY excited. :)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 10 July, 2012, 15:36:23
This little lot should do me.
(https://p.twimg.com/AxcaGwGCEAACF-q.jpg)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 11 July, 2012, 11:29:30
At airport, kendama to hand, but too tired to click....
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: AlexSmith on 11 July, 2012, 13:42:59
I just dropped off three friends at the airport (Rodney, Eric, Brett). They're boarding a plane as I type this, en route to Japan. I'm just a wee bit jealous...

So now it's almost 7 am. About time I went to sleep :(
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 12 July, 2012, 13:43:13
Well after J & A decided to board the plane instead of having another cigarette, we all headed off. Flight dull and long, and sleepless for me. Veggie food good, coffee awful. Arrived at Kansai to find that KLM had managed to delay our luggage for a day. Luckily we both had a change of clothes and a toothbrush in our carry-on.

We were collected (late delivery of cases arranged) and whisked off to see Osaka castle, which was very cool. Then lunch and back to Yano-san's household, where we could relax for a while, click, and play a game of KEN. Meanwhile Colin wasn't when he was supposed to be, which confused us all for a while, but after that was sorted, we went out for a nice Indian meal.

Damn long day, time to crash.... Off to visit a school in the morning!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: AlexSmith on 12 July, 2012, 21:30:36
Glad to hear you guys arrived safe! I got a text from Colin earlier this morning, he said he missed his flight but has another booked. Glad to hear he'll still make it in time haha.
Good luck to all of you, and have a good time while you're there!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 12 July, 2012, 23:51:48
K.Cima tweets:
“@shakemid: On Saturday, pre festa will be held at 城北市民学習センター . IMPORTANT The venue is different from kendama festa on Sunday. http://t.co/Yphfpk34 (http://t.co/Yphfpk34) " <--- map link.
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: shalafi on 13 July, 2012, 13:05:36
Don't forget to promote our iOS and Android app there :)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 13 July, 2012, 15:33:02
I'll certainly try and find out for you, Sam. [re that other thread]
Yep, Raul!

Ah, some actual sleeeeeeep! Humanity restored.
Went off to the primary school to meet a class of 6 year-olds. Amazing to see their discipline and politeness, and excitement at seeing the foreign kendama players. Yano-San and Hidenori-San presented and introduced us, we did a few tricks, and helped to demo the Kyu tricks to them. The kids got to play a few games, and tried some v basic stuff... Whilst sitting down!  Then we had a class of 7 year olds, same drill, but slightly higher level of tricks for them.
Then it was lunch, then a visit to a temple, dinner/shopping expedition, and then off to the Friday night kendama session, where we met up with Shimadera-San and Akimoto-San and jammed/practised. Got some more secret japanese magic tips on a few tricks, and scooped a goldfish for the 3rd time ever. Also had a bit of a demo to/from a few more kids.
Evening meal, then back home to find....... Our luggage has arrived!! Thank goodness. Practice day tomorrow....

And so to bed, oyasumi nasai from hot sticky fabbo Osaka!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: shalafi on 13 July, 2012, 20:33:07
looks like you are having a great time :)

Loved this: " excitement at seeing the foreign kendama players"
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: SamB on 14 July, 2012, 11:08:41
Good luck! Or... Well done! I'm very confused by the time difference.
Will you be at liberty to release some of the Japanese secrets?
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 14 July, 2012, 15:21:54
What a day! A great gathering of players for the day, new friends to meet. Mongolians, Canadians and Swiss joined us, and later an American. General tricking in a medium conference room (with stage) before being given a run-through and specifics on tomorrow's 1-3 Dan trick list. Then there were 2 practice comps- 1 for Japanese players, and 1 for foreigners. I was pleased to make it through the first round (thus achieving a practice run of my ambition of being "not last"), and then I got through a second round too! Jeffrey has a big chunk of this on video, so that may see the light of day at some point. In the semi final, I ran into Doko, one of the really strong Mongolian players, and he put a stop to my run good and proper. I faced up to Jeffrey in the 3rd place playoff, and the fine fellow did me in. So 4th. I'm happy with that!

After that comp, there was a freestyle comp (a bit like we do the Best Trick, but slower paced). The Euro players voted on the best Japanese player, and vice versa. Alex wowed them with the bilbo.

Then there was an auction. I'll just say some Europeans left it very happy.

Then it was time for a change of venue, and we headed of to Kids Plaza ( where the comp is being held tomorrow). Colin showed up eventually! There was a little hanging around and playing, then some lugging around of planks of wood (which would shortly become a stage). At that point I was flagging a little, and was about to sit down, when Shimadera-San said Mr Maruishi (head of the JKA) would like to show you guys some special tricks. TO HELL WITH SITTING DOWN!!!!!!

Oh wow, that was a great session, he showed us some cool and original tricks, and what a great gentleman he is. A damn fine 68-yr old player. Once we had all worn each other out (did I mention it's Hot and Sticky here?), it was finally time for a rest and a quick bite to eat. I really needed that energy boost because then it was suddenly "20 minutes until grading time". Uh-oh, better warm up!

Mr Maruishi gave a short speech about the JKA and the visit from foreign players, then a quick summation of some details, and suddenly a bunch of us Atlantic-straddlers were all onstage in a line for a Moshi Kame test. I asked, and was allowed to wear headphones (The mighty Scaramanga Six, "Cursed" album, which is my usual moshi training audio choice).

Hajime!

I was on the end, next to Nicolas. Fairly early, I saw Alex drop, out of the corner of my eye. Awwwww, bro, I feel for you, but I've got to concentrate. I couldn't really see or hear past Nic, but I got the impression that after a while it was just me and him left. Come on, you can do this. Bloody well focus, boy. A photographer came and went. Me and Nic are still going, dropping in and out of phase. Someone said yes. Wait, Nic's stopped? They're saying my name. Again, everyone's looking at me. I'VE DONE IT! And so has Nic! 1000 Moshi Kames each. Woooo! Colin also made 528, I later heard.

Shaking and fraught, I just about get the message that we'll do the rest of the grading tomorrow due to fading light.

And so off to a welcome banquet straight away, my wobbly legs just about take me there, and it takes me at least half an hour to calm down. A pleasant evening, chatting with Hitomi via an amusingly odd translation app. And so back home.

And that was just the practice day! It was great to meet Eric, Brett, Rod, Colin, and so many Japanese players. And especially Mr Maruishi.

See my tweets for some pictures from today?

Can I fall over now please.

THWUNKKKK!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: HansNickmans on 14 July, 2012, 17:53:11
This is so much fun to read! Thanks for keeping us all posted. I went over to your twitter for some photos, loved the title of your new purchase from the auction.
And congrats on the moshikame! I would have gone cross-eyed 900 moshikames earlier...
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: ChrisD on 14 July, 2012, 22:55:42
Great to hear it's all going so well for you Void.  May you scoop the lucky Goldfish tomorrow/today!

Chris
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: AlexSmith on 14 July, 2012, 23:42:40
Nice little recap, Void! I've been seeing Facebook posts and photos as the day progressed, looks like you're all having a fun time!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: Craftybuddy on 15 July, 2012, 00:13:27
This is a great read, Void - thanks for the update and sharing the experiences with us. I can't wait to watch any videos that may be uploaded!!
I wish I were there with you...
Yoko
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: Oase on 15 July, 2012, 15:46:56
Nice recap Void !!! it seams you guys had some great moments over there...waiting for some videos !!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 15 July, 2012, 17:40:41
Another amazing day. Arrived at the kids plaza to find it already thronging with players, and a large number of spectators too. Kids were dancing onstage. Hellos and greetings, and meeting more people. Met 3 guys who seemed very pleased to see me, but had no idea who they were. Then they showed me that they knew me via KendamApp, so that was cool. I later found out that they were the guys from Kendama Rock Cafe (find them on twitter). Hey, Basti's fought through his cough and made it here! Lots of photo taking throughout the day, and by the middle of the day, some kids were asking to have their pic taken with me. :-)

Signed up for the competition, (in a rather confused conversation), and somehow came away with a stopwatch and a towel as a result, and the mysterious number 44 on a piece of paper.

It wasn't too long before the comp got underway. Shimadera-San gave an opening speech welcoming everybody, including the foreign players. Then it was time for round 1. 2 pairs of opponents competed at the same time, since it was a big stage (and was necessary to get all the battles done quickly). So sometimes you didn't know which battle to watch. Ah, 44 is my position in the draw. That explains that. After a few rounds, my name was called. I'm up against a 13/14 year old with a higher grade than me. I think nerves were on my side, cos he probably should have had me, but I went through 2-0. "Not come last" - CHECK! Some of the other Westerners crashed out in the first round, and some went through: Jeffrey, Nic, Eric and me.

Next round, I'm up against the young girl who knocked Colin out. This time we were doing the same set of tricks, and she missed ones that I'm sure were well within her grasp. Nerves again, I guess. 2-0 to me again. Woo. No such luck for Eric and Jeff, but Nic's through with me to the 3rd round (last 16).

Meanwhile I heard that some players were being rounded up for a Losers Division.... Bit of a harsh name, if you ask me.

Drink water, stay cool. Take photos. Breathe in the atmosphere. Pick up a few trinkets at the stall.

Okay, last round before the Quarters, and I'm going to be up against a cool looking Japanese 16-19(??) year old lad. Buzz cut, sports shirt. I attempt to psych him out with some eyework beforehand, but I don't think he was too scared. :)

Oooh, I sold 2 books!

Okay, here we go. I'm offered the 10 cards to draw from (the random trick), so I consider my options, and go for...... That one! It's turned over, and it's #8 - World Trip. Great, my worst trick. Attempt 1: miss the Bird. Of course. The worse thing is, he has Moon Landing as his #8, and for me that's a far easier trick, even though it's in the higher category. I suppose I should work on my Bird transitions. Anyway, he Moons easily enough and I'm 1 down. Next trick was Hanging 1-turn LH for me. Got it! Things are looking up. But he hits his Slip Grip Special, so 2 attempt: Oh dear, I completely fluff the launch up and the ken's going nowhere near where it should. SGS #2 is no problem, and I'm sunk 2-0. Ah well, I'll take "last16", for sure. Finding out that he was a former All Japan Champion softens the blow too, right? Um, yeah, all right then.

So, come on Nic, it's you for the West. Nope, 0-2 there too. Ah well. We came, we enjoyed, we participated.

Break before the quarter finals. A juggling display, and then some kids team demonstrations.

Oh, and Speed Trick B tests. Okay, I need to hit under 60 seconds in one of 2 attempts to be able to go on for the 4th Dan. First one, not so good, a couple of minor string fluffs, and some blatant misses. 73. Hmmmm, better do it second time then, huh? Okay.....

Shimadera-san says...... Hajime!

This one was better. Minor string misdemeanour early, and an early miss on AJ shouldn't be too disastrous... Oops, missed that swing in. Oh, and the first bird, but back on track with JS and 1-t Aero, so, just get this Falling down first time, and I should get through okay. Got it, yesssss! Except I then hear "Aaoohhh" from Shimadera-San. Uh-oh.

61

No 4th Dan for me. Maybe Poland....

Right, I'm too tired to keep typing, more later, maybe
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: shalafi on 16 July, 2012, 10:33:11
Pity the 61 seconds, but still very impressive.

That is also quite impressive: " I'm up against a 13/14 year old with a higher grade than me"

Nice read, thanks for sharing it here!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 16 July, 2012, 11:46:21
.....hello again.
Okay, I forgot to mention, after I got through the first round, I was interviewed by a nice lady from ( I think) the local TV company. There was someone wandering around filming all day, so something will no doubt have been broadcast. Hopefully someone will find it and share it.

So, other gradings. Some players were given another chance to do their Moshikame, and took the Speed trick B too. So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, in approximate order of achievement ....

RodDama - 1st Dan!
Jeffrey - 1st Dan!
KendAlex - 2nd Dan!
Colin Sander - 3rd Dan!
KendaMushroom - 3rd Dan!

Congratulations guys. Awesome work!

Meanwhile, while all that was going on, there were the quarters and semis going on. Then we had the final of the Loser Division: Kenta vs (a girl whose name I didn't get, but will edit in here later if I find it out). Kenta won.  I congratulated him afterwards, saying " but, I don't understand exactly what it is that you have won...?". He replied "Neither do I!".

Final Time.

Mukai San (reigning EKO Champion) was up against Murotani-san, the reigning a previous All Japan champion. The final was first to three points. 1-0. 1-1. Next trick was moon landing, and on his last attempt, Mukai-San has to hit to stay even. It lands on the ball, and there is a slow adjustment, and then another as he holds it in place. 2 white flags (that's good) go up, but there's a "Shippai!" from the judge onstage who thinks the ken has touched Mukai-san's thumb. We can tell from the look on his face that he's not happy about it. 2-1 to Murotani-San. Now, the rule here is that if there is no winning score after 4 tricks have been attempted, they go to the Speed Trick to decide it. Next trick, and again, Mukai-San has to hit his 3rd attempt to stay in. He hits! So it's 2-2, and we're off to the Speed Trick.

Hajime!

Whoah, damn they're both moving at lightning speed, but wait, did Mukai-San just do a 4th Aeroplane? He must have had a miss? Oh, it's all done, Naoki Murotani-San has finished and is the new World Kendama Champion! Congratulations, sir, amazing work.

Presentations, speeches, group photos, mass scramble of "sign my kendama please!".

A kendama trainer from Hiroshima presented me with a kendama with his name and "nebari!" written on. Thank you sir!

More photos of newly acquired certificates gang.

The clear-up goes on, and Hitomi-San shows Alice some fan moves.

Off to Doma Doma restaurant (Rod wants to graffiti the sign to Dama Dama) for the evening feast. Yano-san and some of the other Japanese players play the hero card and pay for most of the food and drinks for the foreigners. Lots of chatting, eating and drinking, and soon there are a bunch of trades and present-swapping going on. (Never mind) Quite a lot of people left that restaurant very happy.

For us it was back to our host Yano-san's place for a chat with Basti and Mr Yano, before typing up the first half of yesterday just for you lot (aren't I nice?) and sinking into and exhausted state.

So much more I could type (Oh, I'm currently typing this on the Shinkansen, by the way, with lots of legroom, and comfy reclining seats. Nice!), but this will probably do for now. It's been an amazing time, indescribably good, and if you all are not already making plans to come to Japan next year then damn well start now!

Okay, now the more chilled section of our holiday can begin. Off to Kyoto and then Tokyo with Basti on the train. Ciao chaps!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 16 July, 2012, 11:55:12
A few more pics on twitter.
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: SamB on 16 July, 2012, 12:36:34
Thanks for the report Void. Sounds like a great trip!

Huge congratulations to all the new Dan graders, that is seriously impressive!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: KendaMushroom on 16 July, 2012, 15:19:45
Thanks for the story Void!

although I think the Winner kid's name is Murotani?
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 16 July, 2012, 15:24:47
Ah, I could easily be wrong. Was cross-referencing a look-up, with Basti's help. Will re-check....
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: KendaMushroom on 17 July, 2012, 02:30:20
I sent an email yesterday to Shima san, so we'll get names soon :) so Void, speed trick B practice for Poland! the both of us need to become 4th ^^
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 17 July, 2012, 03:34:09
Hell yeah!! :-)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: KendaMushroom on 17 July, 2012, 05:20:40
yup that's what I thought, the kid is Naoki Murotani...I have to know the name of the kid that has my mugen now :P
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 17 July, 2012, 06:19:39
Thanks man, I edited my post. And yes, folks, that's right, Nic donated a near-pristine blue Mugen to the world champ. What a nice dude! :)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: AlexSmith on 17 July, 2012, 09:17:21
Again, nice read, Void! Appreciated. Congrats to everyone, especially on the dan rankings. I'm going to have to practise up on my moshikame and the trick list for Poland (they will be running certifications there I'm guessing?). It's fast approaching. I tried moshikame yesterday and made it to 368, after being awake close to 35 hours with only a couple of short naps to tide me over (hooray jetlag!). Not too shabby I guess, needs improvement though :p
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 17 July, 2012, 10:05:02
Hi Alex, I'll do BKA gradings if the JKA players don't do theirs. (Or possibly as well) So yeah, you'll get a chance for sure. Sounds like a good run of Moshi you had there, but yeah, practice hard, (EVERY day between now and then, at least one endurance run) and at the right speed!

Oh, gawk, I'm going to have to start planning for Poland pretty damn soon.... A nice problem to have. :)
We're off for dinner with Basti and Shimadera-san shortly.
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 17 July, 2012, 10:06:02
PS You need to aim for 2nd Dan to topple Rod from Top Canadian position! ;)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: shalafi 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.
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void 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.
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: shalafi on 17 July, 2012, 16:21:13
Good point, it will also serve me as a training ground for the JKA one :)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void 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!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void 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.
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 18 July, 2012, 13:05:31
Update: Murotani-San was last year's all Japan champ, not the reigning one. Previous post modified.
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: SamB 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!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void 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!!!!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 19 July, 2012, 14:31:14
Update: Murotani-San is 14. Yes, the World Kendama Champion is 14. Crikey!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void 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.
(http://tlmb.net/galleries/Japan2012/mediafiles/l90.jpg) (http://tlmb.net/galleries/Japan2012/)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 20 July, 2012, 19:55:35
A whole bunch more are here: http://www.fakoriginal.com/fak%27s_fotos/Japan_2012/ (http://www.fakoriginal.com/fak%27s_fotos/Japan_2012/)
No hot linking or re-uploads, please: just share the page URL. Thanks.
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: Oase on 21 July, 2012, 12:08:13
Nice Gallery !! great time you had there !!!!
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 22 July, 2012, 08:24:49
More photo sets:
Mahoto-San: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.395773080481215.93372.100001455799764&type=3 (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.395773080481215.93372.100001455799764&type=3)
Yano-San: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.107495492700688.10414.100003207128966&type=3 (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.107495492700688.10414.100003207128966&type=3)
Shimadera-San: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.463850283634361.111934.100000281792255&type=3 (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.463850283634361.111934.100000281792255&type=3)
Jeffrey: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.215813025103641.60955.100000248359236&type=3 (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.215813025103641.60955.100000248359236&type=3)
Kubota-San: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.206594226084099.49558.100002005704239&type=3 (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.206594226084099.49558.100002005704239&type=3)
Alex: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.448128115209183.99096.100000359945547&type=3 (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.448128115209183.99096.100000359945547&type=3)
Nicolas: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.444948642192499.94811.173843685969664&type=1 (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.444948642192499.94811.173843685969664&type=1)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 25 July, 2012, 11:03:11
Lovin' this photo from Yano-san:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=253125811470988&set=a.107495492700688.10414.100003207128966 (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=253125811470988&set=a.107495492700688.10414.100003207128966)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: BKA on 25 July, 2012, 14:57:12
A nice little highlights video from Mahoto-san:
けん玉世界大会大阪の旅2012.7.15 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eCb4FpSdks#)

His channel has lots of the battles on there too:
http://www.youtube.com/user/mahoto/videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/mahoto/videos)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: BKA on 25 July, 2012, 15:08:24
More videos in the GloKen FB page:
http://www.facebook.com/GlobalKendamasNetwork (http://www.facebook.com/GlobalKendamasNetwork)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: The Void on 25 July, 2012, 17:41:59
Does anyone have a photo of this board with the full results drawn in?
(http://tlmb.net/galleries/Japan2012/mediafiles/l53.jpg)
Title: Re: World Kendama Championship, Japan, July 15th
Post by: BKA on 13 August, 2012, 14:42:48
Gloken's WKC photoset:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.331232326966603.76048.317742794982223&type=1 (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.331232326966603.76048.317742794982223&type=1)
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