The Kendama- Can A Wooden Toy Be A Viral Sensation

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The Kendama: Can A Wooden Toy Be A Viral Sensation?:

The Kendama: Can A Wooden Toy Be A Viral Sensation?

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At a time when young people of all ages are focused on electronics and apps, the popularity of the kendama oozora — a traditional Japanese toy made out of wood — seems like an anomaly. It hasn't caught on all over the U.S. yet, but it's a big craze on the West Coast and sales are growing. Kendama sellers say Sacramento is a particular hot spot. That's where 9-year-old Logan Tosta has honed his skills.

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Kendamas seem to be the buzz these days at elementary schools all around Sacramento. My kindergartener knew all about them when I brought it up. He said his friends have them. Now he does, too.

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But kendamas aren't that easy to find. They're usually at comic book stores, Japanese grocery stores, or online. And they aren't cheap. The one I bought cost about $17.

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Vendors are reporting an uptick in the Midwest now, especially in Minnesota and Illinois. Seems like it might be possible for kendamas to go viral, even with no batteries, no screen, no buttons ... just a wooden ball attached to a wooden stick with a string.

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