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Zoomadanke Doc

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If you've ever wanted to know more about the duo, this is your chance.
A+ cinematography, color grading, editing and storytelling set this edit apart.

Cool to hear from Tamotsu, Jero, Thorkild, and Sweets in this edit. Enjoy!

cop the Mugen Musou seen in this vid:

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Featured in the Japan Times:

Kendama: spin doctors

On the streets of Tokyo, Zoomadanke’s “Kodaman” (Takeshi Kodama) and “Easy” (Hiroki Iijima) look like any other young men in their 20s or 30s. The second they start playing
kendama, however, the pair will put on a performance that completely redefines the traditional wooden toy.

Zoomadanke is a professional kendama performance unit that was formed in December 2010. There was no major company pulling strings in the background — just two men, Kodama and Iijima, who decided that they enjoyed kendama so much they would make it into a career.

“It all just started out as something fun,” says Kodama, 34. “The image of kendama was rather uncool, and people mostly looked down on it as a plain and sedate toy. I thought that if we could change that image, people would see how great it really was.”

The two met at a toy-consultancy course, at which Iijima introduced Kodama to kendama. Iijima, a college student then, and Kodama, a former salaryman, had one thing in common — their love for toys.

“I think kendama has and will continue to evolve,” says Iijima, 23. “The amazing thing about it is the potential it has to bring together people from diverse backgrounds to collaborate and create something.”

Zoomadanke’s performances are a reflection of such a philosophy.

Using hip-hop, beatbox and even traditional Japanese music, Zoomadanke performs tricks using a kendama with a combination of smooth, graceful and sharp movements. The pair’s choreography is unique and entertaining, completely in sync with each other as they jump, twist and turn — all the time while doing kendama.

The two men have performed on television, at public spaces, parks and have even gone abroad to destinations such as Brazil and Hawaii.

“When you think about the fact that most people outside of Japan have never heard of kendama, imagine the endless possibilities it has,” Kodama said. “And like all toys, the great thing about it is, you don’t need to speak the language — you can communicate through kendama with anyone.”

Posted by: Dæmon

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  • xplodit

    Wow!!! Thanks for the super entertaining and informative edit. We need more kendama history lessons and documentaries. If it weren’t for you OG slayers out there keeping those of us new to the sport informed, I doubt I’d have the same obsessive attachment to the community. I love that in this old school, 400+ year old game the “OGs” have only been playing for roughly 10-20 years. Just shows you that this is going to continue to evolve at light speed with every new generation standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before them.
  • Gerbilsk8er

    Fantastic video and super inspiring!