Iijima Hiroki : Portrait of a Kendama Samurai

Almost everyone in Japan has played kendama at some point in their lives. Most people learn how to play it as a pastime during their childhood, then eventually move on to other activities after they get the hang of it and become bored. A select few, however, go on to hone their skills to perfection and actually compete in organized competitions similar to yo-yo tournaments.

Enter 22-year-old Hiroki Iijima, who has not only mastered all the regular tricks in the book but has also combined his love for street dancing to create a new freestyle activity: “kendama street dancing,” if you will.

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