It’s amazing how much one place can influence a person. All of us here at Kendama USA are influenced by the birthplace of kendama… Japan. A portion of our team was honored to be invited to visit the birthplace of kendama for sessions, meetings, product-releases, and plotting the future course of our sport.
It was destined to be an amazing time, and who better than Colin Sander to showcase it to you. Let’s be real… we were there because Kazuma Iwata, the maker of MUGEN, was coming back.
Enjoy next-level tricks, a star-studded juggler list, and all of the unpredictable beauty that the far east bestows upon us with each visit. This is Kendama USA’s Gloken Musou Tour edit. Japan 2013.
This trip and all the events around it would not have been possible without an endless list of helpers, performers, shops, hosts, and so on. Watch the video, and you’ll catch them all in there.
Special Thanks to:
Matt Sweets Jorgenson
With Support From
Kendama USA and Gloken partnered up to send some of our favorite kendama players to Japan…and with that much time in transit, of course the guys filmed and edited a video during their flights! Featuring Dave Mateo, Turner Thorne, Colin Sander, and Jake Wiens.
In his most ambitious edit yet, Colin Sander returns to elite kendama play. He also shares the story of the ‘Mugen’ Kendama, and it’s creator Kazuma Iwata, with never before seen footage from japanese-television vaults.
Edit 9 also grants an in-depth look into the sander training-grounds, and the rare kendamas he plays there. With newly invented tricks, and a history lesson for even the most knowledgeable kendama-buffs, Colin’s long awaited return to the solo-edit format looks to amaze.
Gorillaz – Stop the Dams
Ball Of Flame Shoot Fire – Keep House
Gorillaz – California and the slipping of the sun
Special Thanks to:
Mugen kendama carry a legendary status in the kendama world and after a 5-year hiatus, they are finally returning!
From a Facebook post by Iwata-san:
私の中でいろいろな格闘がありましたが、私の背中を押してくれた Global kendama Network (GLOKEN) の窪田さん
After a major struggle with my inner self, I have made up my mind to come back to the Kendama world.Many thanks to Mr. Kubota of GLOKEN who has given me a strong supportive push, avid overseas Kendama players who have sent me warm messages and passionate domestic fans who have been hoping to see Mugen products again.Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
History of Mugen Kendama
Crafted in Hiroshima by Iwata Mokko, a maker of traditional Japanese calligraphy brushes, original Mugen were available in colors that were outside of the standard offerings from other JKA manufacturers at the time. The paint is sticky, but not so much that it hinders the sliding motion of kensaki suberi, or makes toudai too easy for beginners. The ken was superbly balanced, the grain was beautiful, and most were sold along side of other JKA kendamas for about the same price.
Kazuma Iwata, son of the owner Iwata Mokko, stopped production in 2008 due to patent disputes with the JKA. A 2005 Japanese patent and a design patent held by the JKA prevented Iwata Mokko from making Mugens without a JKA license, and even the stickerless Mugen Kotobukis could not be made without the JKA’s permission. Since production ended, Mugen prices have skyrocketed. Depending on the color, prices are ~$300-$550 to find original Mugen still new in the package. Even loose tamas were selling for up to $160 each.
Players and collectors have been asking Iwata-san for a return to production since it stopped. There have been fan pages put up on Facebook and video contests asking why people think Mugen should re-start production.
Return of Mugen Kendama
This morning, Kubota-san of GLOKEN posted the above video confirming the return of Mugen to the kendama world. It’s been stated that these will not be the same kendamas produced before, but will be completely new and redesigned. So far, there is no mention if Iwata-san will submit these for JKA approval, or if the original Mugen colors will return or be replaced by new colors. While details are still scarce one thing is for sure…we’re getting new Mugen kendama and they’ll be amazing.
Direct from Gloken:
It has been confirmed, Kazuma Iwata has decided to resume making kendamas. Kazuma said that he was thankful to all of you, who gave the warm and exciting video messages or purchased Mugen Tamas.Thanks to your support, we have come at the starting line.
Thank you for everything you did for bringing Mugen back. We are no longer the dreamers.New Mugen will be come back as the totally upgraded model, developed jointly with GLOKEN.Kazuma has already started making a prototype of new Mugen.
We will make all the arrangements to supply the finest kendamas in the near future.
Please wait and see the next announcement.※The details will be provided later on GLOKEN’s web site, http://www.gloken.net. For further information, feel free to contact us. Please note that neither Kazuma nor Iwata wood factory answers to any inquiries about this matter.Do Something Kendaful !