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DSGS - Raiders of the Lost Mugen

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...A YOUNG CHEECH HAPPENED UPON A KENDAMA. And lo, this was no "normal" kendama. Nay, it had a mystique about it. It seemed to be ancient, and yet exhibited little to no wear. The woodworking and craftsmanship were impeccible. Adding to the intrigue was the fact that there was no package, and no sticker.

The year was 2008 [or so]. Artisinal kendama manufacturers simply did not exist yet in America. In fact, Colin and I had only been playing about a year. Seeing a kendama at all was downright bizarre.

However, I was at a house party of two twin brothers who were excellent skiers and had been to japan. It's likely that they became aware of it through JP Auclair's affinity for kendama (RIP).

Anyway after picking it up and playing it, I could tell that this was a seriously honed kendama. The tama was pink, the wood had tiny elonged specks running vertically up the ken, and the grain across the sara-do was perfectly symmetrical. I began to have suspicions that it might be very valuable. I asked the brothers if they knew what kind of kendama it was.

"I don't know, we got it in japan, I don't really play it".

I put the kendama back on their dusty shelf, but could not get it out of my mind.

Weeks later, I found myself back at the party alongside my brother, @Grandpa Sandz. We snuck into the room. I handed him the kendama.

I had to ask him:
"dude... is this a mugen?"

he took one look at it and nodded.
"why the hell did they take the sticker off?"

We replaced the kendama and went back to the party.

Weeks went by, and I thought about the perfectly honed, sticker-stripped Mugen collecting dust in an ungrateful home of party kids. It ate at me. I couldn't let that piece of wood rot in a puddle of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I had to have it.

So I strapped up a fresh pink Ozora that I happened to have laying around. I yanked that sticker off like a week-old scab.
I even played it rough so it would have a few marks similar to the lightly used mugen.

I snuck into the room, and I DROPPED THE RINGER!

To this day, I never told either of the twins that I conned them. They didn't notice, and they didn't care.

And after years of playing with a stickerless mugen, I finally slapped on a different, rare, aftermarket mugen sticker, to complete this kendama's tumultuous journey:

After that I started volunteering with Mugen Rescue America, west coast chapter. We save mugens from stickerpeeling, underuse, and neglect.


We want to hear your best kendama story:

Posted by: Cheech_Sander

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  • Ian McDonell
    Ian McDonell

    I have two mugens. They are far from neglected. I'm am proud to say I am a part of your cause.
  • Kendmonds Jr.
    Kendmonds Jr.

    The most Indiana Jones thing I've seen in a while and it's with dama. Two birds with one stone
  • Almostgets

    Great story, edit, and dama.
  • Guy LaBorde
    Guy LaBorde

    I liked the addition of the clips from Spirited Away!
  • Ben Lowe
    Ben Lowe

    Amazing video, great story to go along with it!
  • Peyton

    That was sick
  • Allen Joshua Santamaria
    Allen Joshua Santamaria

    I wish I had a JKA mugen ;(
  • James Hoang
    James Hoang

    I still remember watching this edit over and over again. Also, I'm pretty sure all of the stories that I create or have are really crappy, so my answer to this contest: NOPE.
  • Nick Lectura
    Nick Lectura

    Upvoted because mugens in the house and because of the this greatly told tale of mugen saving
  • P0WAH0USE!

    To this day I have never owned a classic Mugen. Had the honor to play several. Always a good day when you get to jam a mugen.

    PS. This story is perfect.
  • Kenflip Kixxie
    Kenflip Kixxie

    What dreams are made of
  • htimSxelA

    The "mmmmm" in the audio at 0:35 gets me every time. The start of this video is hilarious (and the intro clips actually have a whole crazy story of their own, but thats for another day).
  • Bryan Scagline
    Bryan Scagline

    head to toe swag.
  • Steezdiaz

    hahah this was so good.