JKA Megathread! With recent news of the end of the JKA approved TK16, it's probably a good time to talk JKA. The Shin Fuji model is also no longer JKA approved, and supposedly there is a new brand that will be producing comp-sized JKA damas (they've been making minis for over a year now, with a red seal on them). Thoughts? Pics? History? Questions? Post it all in here! Brief history: Gloken has some good info here. The JKA has been around since 1975, and one of the things they do is certify companies to produce 'JKA approved kendamas'. The JKA owns a couple of patents in Japan, related to the string hole and exact size of the JKA competition damas, so they can regulate who makes 'competition damas' in Japan. I don't know much about the very earliest models (F16? I'm not exactly sure of the name). In the 80's the Mt Fuji seal and Sakura blossom seal kendamas were produced. In the 90's they updated the shape a bit, and the seals became pretty much the same for both Fujis and Sakuras. Its not too tough to tell the difference between them once you know what to look for though. In 2000 they made a larger shape update, to the modern design. New brands also emerged, the list was now: Shin Fuji, Shin Sakura, TK16, and Mugen. Ozora came onto the scene in... 2005? 2007? Not exactly sure. Mugens ended in 2008, and Shin Sakuras ended production earlier than that, though I'm not sure exactly when. Now, Shin Fuji and TK16 will no longer be JKA branded, but it seems that a new brand is coming (red seal... can't remember the name though!) Interestingly, I'm pretty sure that Yamagata Kobou was the maker of the Fuji models, but when it switched to Shin Fuji a new company took over production, and then YK came back with the Ozora later. I'll soon have an early Ozora prototype in my collection, that was a gift to another player when he visited the Ozora factory many many years ago. Its like a cross between the 90's shape and the modern shape from what I've seen, a very cool piece of history! I'll post a photo up once I've received it.