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Discussion in 'The Sesh' started by htimSxelA, Nov 16, 2016.
Awesome!! what did you win to get all of those kendamas?
Lace Space contest. You can see all the winning entries here: http://www.solkendamas.com/blogs/blog/sol-kendamas-lace-space-video-contest-results
(We're getting a bit off-topic though. Sorry, my fault! Back to JKA related stuffs. )
@maxdesu Awesome! Interesting info about the TK16, was it the 'fatter' ken shape that made rounds a year and a bit ago, or another, new shape that was the source of the issue? While at the JKA 40th event, Tamotsu asked the president of the company that makes TK16's about the new shape, and he had no idea what Tamotsu was talking about. That, coupled with the fact that it was incredibly similar to the Kaizen shape, led me to believe that it was just a weird factory mixup of some sort.
The Kendama-do aspect is something I should have mentioned earlier, thanks for bringing it up. It is, after all, sort of the driving idea behind the JKA, or at least that was the impression I had from sitting in on a JKA examiner training course (I'm 3rd dan, but not an examiner, I just sat in out of personal interest).
The JKA 40th freestyle contest definitely makes more sense as a 'routine', I agree that wasn't communicated well. Interesting to hear that they're developing a new system, hopefully it works well. Assigning point values to tricks seems like a broken system for freestyle, but the JKA has effectively coined many of the different competition styles out there today, so I won't pass judgement until it has been refined. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a good system in the end.
It is cool to see some of the young kids kill the KWC, in years prior I've been to the JKA festa and had my butt kicked by 13 year old girls that can 2 turn airplane 10000 times in a row, so its no surprise in some ways. I have heard that the JKA asks many of their members to NOT attend KWC though, and I know they've communicated directly with GLOKEN to express their distaste, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
I think preserving the kendama-do is important, but they are very much at odds with the western style of play, so it will be interesting to watch it unfold.
On a more snarky note: at the very least, I hope that the JKA starts holding their events in venues where you are actually allowed to play kendama. I've been to a few now where the only area you're allowed to play is a 20'x20' roped off zone behind the stage.
You're thinking of the right TK16, it's the one released about a year ago in the purple-ish packaging. There were some in the old packing too that a lot of companies had to send back in a recall! I might have phrased it like TK knew what they were doing, but I talked to the president too (at the same event actually) and they seemed totally oblivious, so I think you're right with the mix-up!
I think the Kyu/Dan aspect of JKA really is creating more and more players. They hold the examiner course two or three times a year, and I pictured a room of 4-5 people looking to be JKA examiners, but in fact, the room was about 60 people deep and they were from all over Japan. From Hokkaido to Okinawa, more and more examiners, (which means more and more players) are bringing kendama into their communities.
Unfortunately there *are* members of JKA who don't like to see change. I get shit from people for playing non-JKA damas at events sometimes. I also get shit from people asking me to do jobs they don't want to.. just kind of snark comments, etc.. But you get those everywhere, in every situation, in every association sadly. We are lucky though, because a lot of JKA members (and very prestigious JKA members) know that they need to change and that change is painful in some ways but change can push JKA into a bigger and better association.
To address your snarky note.. I totally agree. MKO was SO fun being able to just jam wherever (even in stores, where clerks ask you what the thing around your neck is and how dope your tricks are).. but unfortunately the problem isn't JKA but more so Japan. I've been kicked out of places like the most remote sidewalk in a shopping mall (where there is little to no foot traffic)! Jamming in stations can get you in trouble and even on the street is a bit frowned upon. It's the Japanese idea that the public being everybody's space and everybody should be comfortable wherever they are.
The unfortunate trade-off there is, do we get the exposure of having our event in a public place and rope off a jam area, or do we rent out a hotel ballroom where you could play everywhere but have almost no-exposure whatsoever.
side note: I LOVE this discussion! I've only been in the dama game for about 3 and a half years now, and even less in JKA, so while my thoughts/opinions/knowledge may be a little out of line, I hope my Japanese/English abilities could clear some misunderstandings about JKA. Thanks Alex for dropping your knowledge about the old-gen JKA damas.. I know almost nothing about that (except for the mugen shenanigans).
If anyone wants to chat feel free to drop me a fb message or ig message or anything!
congrats dude!! your video was amazing
@maxdesu I agree, great discussion, I've had some looks into the JKA over the years, but its awesome to be able to chat with someone who is close to it!
It really is a crazy story, the whole TK16 debacle. I'm stunned that an apparent mishap will end the favourite kendama of many players, I'd love to know what happened in their factory to lead to this. I'll always remember Kenta Sakamoto holding his TK16 up and proclaiming "I LOVE... TK16! The BEST KENDAMA!" after winning the Matsumoto kendama night contest years ago (that contest was the preamble to GLOKEN cup, which was the test event that happened a year before the first KWC). I haven't seen Kenta in years, since he is one of the players who doesn't attend KWC, hopefully one day I'll cross paths with him again. For anyone who doesn't know Kenta, he's a Japanese player that was a major inspiration of Turner Thorne, when they met they just nerded out on tricks together pretty much the entire time haha.
Do you happen to know what the numbers of examiners are like, historically? Is there an influx lately? From what I've seen, kendama has seen a revival in Japan, in part due to the Western explosion, and in part due to GLOKEN's efforts. It would be interesting if this is what led to the increase in examiners. I agree that more examiners is good! Gotta keep spreading the dama.
Also, definitely feel you on the difference in culture, in regards to jam zones. Venue selection is all the more important in Japan I guess!
In the most recent JKA newsletter, they have announced that TK16s will no longer be JKA certified.
In 2015, from April to October, a batch of faulty TK16s were shipped from their warehouse. (JKA is saying that they chip faster and the string breaks easier, but I think they're just covering up the slip-stop problem, but that's totally IMHO). They are recalling any TK16s with white beads (rather than red beads).
In competition and dan testing, since it is really difficult to spot a 'faulty' TK16, they permit you to use it only if
1) It is the only Kendama you have with you
2) You didn't know and it is the first time you have been told
After that, they highly encourage you to send it in for a new one.
Cool news, at the end of the letter, JKA says they are trying their best to certify new companies and bring in new JKA damas for us!
(A bit of my opinion: I don't think TK16 will end entirely. I think they won't have the green seal, but they may continue producing kendamas (the classic birch dams that we love) but under a different name. They are definitely losing their certification though, so if you want dat green seal, go and cop! I copped two of each color..)
FWIW Here are some shots of the TK16 "Mutant" vs the original TK16. In addition to the slipgrip area the tama hole was larger and beveled differently, the paint was a slightly different color and it chipped more easily than the originals. My understanding from Tamiwa Toy is that they didn't know about the problem firsthand and only heard about it after people started contacting them about what was going on.
Here's a couple of shots of the Gentosha - Hajimete no Kendama ("my" first kendama). The traditional looking seal has been replaced on the newer releases. The old seal was a bit confusing apparently. Kendama with these seals can be used through the Jun Shodan (intermediate) JKA level test.
Here is a comparison of the seals for the Shinfuji that will now be known as "Minna no Kendama" (everyone's kendama). From what I understand, after speaking with the manufacturer, the shape and paint will remain the same but they'll have more flexibility in colors etc. They will still have both Beech and Keyaki ken with Cherry tama.
(edited to add more photos to the TK16 Mutant)
Glad I picked up a red TK from Sol already!
@maxdesu thanks for the info/update! It does make me wonder though, if we are hearing the whole story. It seems petty to end the TK16 production contract over 'chipping and breaking strings', the ken profile change seems like more of an issue in that regard (though, if that happened by mistake, I would think it is excusable under the right circumstances?). It seems like a lot of work to find a new producer, and end an old one's legacy!
To me this throws up some red flags... why would any company invest the resources to become a licensed producer, if the contract could be ended under such circumstances? Maybe I just don't fully grasp Japanese business culture...
@goenKendama awesome! Good comparison pics, as well as info on the Gentosha and Minna No.
It doesn't seem like the JKA is going after Minna No for keeping the same shape as the shin fuji, so I would guess you're right Max, and TK16 will still be produced, but with a different seal.
@goenKendama awesome post. I never made the connection between Shin Fuji and the Mount Fuji, which appears to be on the new seal.
@htimSxelA @JERO do we know if the TK-16s available on KUSA are the OG'S? Or do we have any OG's deep in the warehouse?
@Jewbacca @earthgirl420 would probably be able to answer that. I think KUSA did have some of the non-OGs, not sure what the current stock is though.
I've added some photos (to the post above) that one of our guys shot after playing the Mutant for a while. It shows the super-sized hole and the paint problems.
Beautiful post! I can't remember your name but we met at the class divided JKA tourney in Ehime! You had like the broken hand and were playing lefty right?
Thanks. Yes I was at the Matsuyama JKA event and I was playing lefty due to recent surgery on my right bicep to reattach it; one heck of a kendama injury. Actually my hand is still kind of weird so I'm still practicing lefty while slowly getting back to normal righty. My name is John by the way.
Here is my TK-16 that I chipped really bad. It has like 1/4 the original base cup. I'm thinking, based on the fact I got it around January 2016 from a friend who had owned it previously for a couple months, there's a very great chance this is a faulty one, like @maxdesu noted.
Note: as soon as I found out they would no longer carry JKA approval, I removed the seal and stuck it on my phone
That is definitely original shape!
Yea, I agree with Max, definitely an original shape TK16! @Blake W.
Awesome, thanks guys(wondering how I chipped it so easily) @htimSxelA @maxdesu
Looks like my first TK was a mutant then(the one in the middle). I bought it in Jan 2015 from a dept store in Tokyo. As you can see the paint has chipped rather well, also there is a knot that runs through from the hole to the outer tama surface. The ones on the left and red right were both bought off amazon japan. The red on the left is the true shape then. I actually prefer the mutant shape!
Also I seem to remember some IG chatter last year suggesting that maybe TK16s were moving to a JKA mugen type shape. I remember a post from Mirek at kendama cz I think?!
Anyway loads of interesting stuff here!