What Do You Know About a Kendama?

KendamaThe warnings in the box should have been a clue. First, it was English translated from Japanese, which can be humorous at times. Second, the warnings made it sound like the manufacturer has been sued a lot or maybe it’s just the way risk management is handled on all toys today. There were the usual cautions such as:

  • don’t lick it or put it into your mouth
  • don’t hit somebody with it
  • don’t try to strangle somebody with it
  • put on shoes and use in a safe place that doesn’t “hit the person and the thing.”

Because the Kendama may cause unexpected injury or threats to life! Yes, I received a Kendama. Not one, but two Kendamas. They arrived in the mail, and I found the package addressed to me on my front steps. But there was no note or clue as to who sent it.

My birthday is coming up a week from Friday, so I figured it must be an early birthday present. Since I have almost no friends, the list of who could have sent it is pretty darn short. I began emailing people, asking: What do you know about a Kendama?

In the meanwhile, I rejoiced in my good fortune. My husband and I unwrapped the Kendamas. In the bottom of the box was an assortment of candy, which I promptly ate. The purpose of the Kendama toy, in case you don’t know, is to swing the ball (the Ken) attached by a string to the dama and to try to land the ball in the cup. You can also try to flip it and land the ball in the second cup, or the hardest thing of all is to get it to land on the peg, putting the hole of the Ken on top of the peg on the dama. Uh, oh, I’m blushing.

While all of this fun was going on, I received an email from my Transaction Coordinator. She had used Pay Pal to buy a birthday present for her son and because the last time she used Pay Pal, she had shipped a gift to me, she did not change the ship-to address. In other words, I had received her son’s birthday present by mistake. She asked if I would drop the package at the office, and she would try to smooth things over with her son. His birthday was yesterday. Poor kid.

Only by now, one of our cats, I suspect it was Jackson, had climbed up on my desk and chewed through the string on one of the Kendamas. Good thing we had extra string in the box. Handed the string to my husband and asked him to fix it. We’re looking at both of the balls. The green glowy ball has a chip. The purple ball has a series of dents. Our eyes met: a kid would know.

Yes, I did end up buying an identical set of Kendamas and shipping them to my Transaction Coordinator. She protested, saying it was her fault, but it was really my fault. You see, a normal person would have realized when she opened the box that a children’s toy was not a gift to her, and that there was some kind of mistake. But not this person, because I am not what you would call a normal person. Apparently.

Elizabeth Weintraub

About Elizabeth Weintraub

40+ years of experience in real estate, Sacramento real estate broker working at Lyon Real Estate in Midtown Sacramento. Author of The Short Sale Savior. Home Buying Expert at About.com. Top Producer, ranks in the top 1% of all real estate agents in Sacramento Region. Life Member of Master's Club awarded by Sacramento Association of REALTORS.
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  • Karen Crowson

    Elizabeth, you crack me up. I played with those frustrating little toys as a kid, but had no idea what they were called.

  • http://elizabethweintraub.com Elizabeth Weintraub

    Hi Karen: Well, I’m still playing with it. I think the secret is to go with the flow, get into the Zen and let the Ken come to the Dama.

  • roel cunanan

    um, the Ken is the handle. Ken is Japanese for sword. Tama is Japanese for the ball. lol! glad your still playing! great for all ages!