The above diagram shows all the different parts of the Kendama. The main parts are the Tama (Ball) and the Ken (the stick part). At the bottom of the Ken you will often notice a sticker or logo. Sometimes this is the brand, sometimes it’s the logo of an official body approving the Kendama. The above TK16 shows the sticker of the Japanese Kendama Association (JKA).
The Tama has an Ana (hole) for spiking and to help balance it on different parts of the Ken during advanced tricks. The Tama is connected to the Ken with a string (Ito).
The different parts of the Ken are used for various tricks. There are three cups to catch the Tama in; the Chu-zara or base cup at the bottom, the Ozara or big cup located on one side of the Sara-do (cup body) and the Ko-zara or small cup located on the other side of the Sara-do. The final part of the Ken is the Ken-saki (spike) located at the top of the Ken. This is used to “spike” the ball, slotting it into the Ana.
To get going with some basic Kendama tricks using all these parts, check out our Kendama tricks page!