Kendama Ken-chan is coming (Project for interaction between children and the elderly, Hokuryu Town Board of Education)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

On July 18 (Sat.) at 9:00 a.m., "Kendama Ken-chan comes", a project for interaction between children and the elderly sponsored by the Hokuryu Town Board of Education, was held at the Hokuryu Town Rural Environment Improvement Center (gymnasium).

KEN-chan is Mr. Isao Saito (32 years old, social education officer, Lifelong Learning Division, Atsuma Town), the representative of Atsuma Kendama Club.

Thirty-two children (first through sixth graders at Manryu Elementary School) and 14 members of the Fureai Project Promotion Committee participated in the event. About half of the approximately 60 students at Manryu Elementary School participated in the event. Everyone spent a pleasant time together with the promotion committee members, full of smiles.

Venue: Hokuryu Town Rural Environment Improvement Center (gymnasium)

Hokuryu Town Rural Environment Improvement Center (gymnasium)
Temperature checks conducted at the reception desk: Naoki Kishi (right) and Riki Shimizuno (left), employees of the Hokuryu Town Board of Education.
Project for interaction between children and the elderly

Fureai Project Opening Ceremony

Greetings from Mr. Kazushi Arima, Superintendent of the Board of Education

有馬一志 教育長のご挨拶
Greetings from Mr. Kazushi Arima, Superintendent of Education

For the first-year students, this is their first time participating in the program, and we are very pleased that so many of you in grades two through six have joined us again since last year.

Due to the prevention of the spread of the new coronavirus infection, the field day that everyone had been looking forward to has been canceled. Schools were also closed, so I am sure that you have been spending a lot of time at home.

This Fureai project was supposed to start in May when the seeds were sown, but it has been extended by two months to today's opening. With eight months remaining in this fiscal year, we are planning various fun projects until the very end. We hope that everyone will attend all classes without missing a day and do their best to earn a perfect attendance award at the end of the program.

And to our promoters, we are pleased to announce that we will be working with two new promoters this year. We would like to thank you for your continued support over the past year. Your guidance will be the blood and flesh of our children and will lead to their growth. Thank you again for your support.

The Board of Education would like to take great care in preventing the spread of the new coronavirus infection. Let's all keep in mind that each and every one of you should protect yourselves, and let's enjoy a year of fun in the classroom while being very careful not to catch a cold or contract the coronavirus. I would like to ask for your cooperation.

Board of Education staff and self-introductions

Board of Education staff and self-introductions

Self-introduction of Fureai Project Promotion Committee Members

Self-introduction of Fureai Project Promotion Committee Members

Meet the new first-year students

Meet the new first-year students

Preparatory exercise: rock-paper-scissors game

Rules: Three paper 10,000-yen bills are handed out to each person, and the winner gets the bill after a game of rock-paper-scissors-scissors. The person with the most bills at the end wins.

Beilong Bank 10,000 yen bill
Janken Pon!

Kendama Ken-chan appeared!

Everyone called out, "Ken-chan! and Ken-chan appeared from the second floor!

Ken-chan, appearance!

Ken-chan's first words! Hokuryu-cho is a nice town!

Hokuryu town is a nice town!

This is my first visit to Hokuryu Town, and it is a nice town!

I have a question about Hokuryu Town, who knows about "Sunflower Oil"? Yes! (yes!)'.
Now for the next question! "How many times is sunflower oil used in Japan?" "Yes, the fourth!" Fourth! Bingo!
'What percentage is used in Japan?' It is 0.02%! It must be very little! Hokuryu Town is the place where such oil is produced. It is a rare town, and I think there is no such town in all of Japan.

And I had "Kuro Sengoku Natto Pizza" at Mukohi, a restaurant in Hokuryu-cho. Have you ever eaten Kuro Sengoku? If you haven't, eat it right away! It is very, very delicious!

And also, is everyone eating their sunflower rice?" All the children, together, loudly said, "Haaaaay! Hahaha!

Greetings to all!

Student Representative: "Best regards!" (from the student representative) Everyone, "Konnichiwa! (Everyone "Good day!") Ken-chan "Today, we are going to play "Kendama", which anyone can do! Everyone "Good day!

Let's play with Kendama!

survey game

Answer by raising your hand using the rock-paper-scissors mark "G-C-P (G=Goo, C=Choki, P=Par)" method.

G. C. P. Questionnaire

1. people who like kendama: G = like, C = normal, P = dislike
2. Why did you come to this class? G = Because it looked like fun, C = Because I was invited, P = Other
3. people who know Atsuma Town, Hokkaido
4. who have been to Atsuma Town before.

Introduction of Atsuma Town

Location/distance: 2 hours to Hokuryu Town
The town was severely damaged during the 2018 Hokkaido earthquake (recorded an intensity of 7).

Atsuma Town

Ken-chan's self-introduction


Name/ Nickname: Retsu Saito, Ken-chan, Gobo
Affiliations: Atsuma Board of Education, Atsuma Kendama Club, Ezo Kendama Collective, Childcare Kakeru, Sapporo Drum Circle
Favorite food: Hayashi rice
Favorite sport: Rugby
Areas of interest: Round-the-world travel, childcare
Expectations: Excitement for today and tomorrow
I'm addicted to: Reducing trash
How I feel now: Nervous.
I actually participated in the NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen on December 31, 2019!

Kendama Ken-chan Origami Musical "The Captain's Shirt

Captain's shirt

Once upon a time, I thought hard about what I wanted to be, a boy.

'Yes! I'll be the captain of the seven seas! But what if there's a big wave... I'm scared... I think I'm going to have to stop!"
I'm going to become a firefighter and help people in a fire! I'm going to become a firefighter and save people from a fire! I'm afraid to go upstairs.

fireman's ladder

'Yes! I'll become a wizard! But you know, it's boring if I can do anything..."
I know! Let's make some funny kendama!"

Then, as I was walking along, I met a boat. The boat was going fast and furious, and then a big wave came from the front and broke the tip of the boat. The boat still kept going, but this time the back and the middle of the boat were also broken. Only the captain's shirt remained.

The captain's torn shirt

Today's ground rules

1. not to cry 2. to be kind to others 3. not to fart

ground rule

Red, Black and White Games

Red = raise both hands Black = lower both hands White = clap hands

Red, Black and White Games

shopping spree

Ken only claps his hands when he says vegetables.
...Only the ones from the fishmonger's shop clap their hands. There are fish named "saburo" and "señorita."

shopping spree
Named fish

rock, paper, scissors game

Each participant chooses a kendama of his/her choice and plays with it.

Each with a kendama!

1. where to ride?

The "balls" are placed on various parts of the "ken".

Where do you ride?
Technique of placing a ken on a ball
Where are you riding?
The promoter is also clear!

2. kendama building blocks

Pile up balls on balls, and balls on balls.

Japanese bilboquet (cup-and-ball game)
I did well!

3. unicorn competition

A game in which the ball is used as a weight and placed on the forehead like a unicorn.

unicorn game
Unicorn Style Master!
One leg up in unicorn style!

4. drop ball

Drop the ball from above and put it in the ken
Hold the ball, drop the ken from above, and insert it into the hole of the ball.

nobleman's illegitimate child
Drop it in!

5. one takoyaki

Scooping out a ball with a takoyaki (octopus ball)

octopus dumplings

In groups, form a circle, scoop the kendama of the person next to you, and connect them together.

Connect them in a circle!

Finally, each group lifts a connected kendama.

Everyone lifts the connected kendama!

6. kendama dominoes

The last game was a domino toppling game in which everyone formed a circle and connected their kendama!

Try Kendama dominoes!

Kendama Domino Youtube Video

Reflections on playing Kendama

Anyone can do it, anytime, anywhere.
... I have a sense of accomplishment.
It helps develop concentration and perseverance.
・Improvement in physical fitness
I can communicate with people.
It's a great way to make friends.
... It's a head and body exercise.
I can feel a sense of togetherness.

The result: I honestly don't care!

The important thing is to get carried away and enjoy it to the fullest!

The difference between focus and preoccupation: enjoying life with preoccupation.

Concentration is exhausting, whereas preoccupation is not. It is important to work on things to the point of losing track of time!

Whatever it is, do something you are passionate about. I want everyone to enjoy life by encountering different kinds of work, finding what you love, and doing what you want to do most.

I would like to come to Hokuryu-cho again and eat sunflower rice with everyone. Thank you very much for the fun time we had today," said Ken-chan with a big smile!

Enjoy life!

It is important to work hard and be enthusiastic: Ken-chan's story

After the class, Mr. Saito, aka Ken-chan, gave us his impressions of the class.

The children in Hokuryu-cho are very friendly. I felt that they are living in the community. There is no trouble, and the children must have a good relationship with each other.

The first ground rule is: 'Let's be nice to people! Try not to cry! No farting!' but this is meant to say 'I don't care' and you don't have to be neat.

It doesn't matter how effective kendama is. It is important to find something you like, to devote yourself to something you like, to work hard at it, and to get absorbed in it. I hope that kendama will be an opportunity for you to find and do what you love and what suits you. I think it would be great to find what you love and live a life of your own.

I first encountered kendama around five years ago. I practiced little by little and became addicted to kendama. When I wear a kendama around my neck, people ask me, 'Do you like kendama?' and it starts a conversation and lowers the hurdle for communicating. Just by holding a kendama, both adults and children start communicating with each other.

We do not teach you to be good at a technique. I believe that there are many games in the world that people enjoy playing, regardless of whether they are good or bad at them. I hope that people will choose kendama among them," said Ken-chan, a master of enjoying life.
Thank you for a wonderful and fun time!
We hope that children and the elderly will unite their hearts through Kendama, and enjoy playing Kendama with all their might, with boundless love, gratitude, and prayers.

With thanks for a good time.

More Photos

interpoint (interword separation)Click here to see 213 photos of Kendama Ken-chan >>

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interpoint (interword separation)Floor curling experience, Himawari University in Hokuryu Town (University for the Elderly), a fun time filled with smiles and laughter(January 20, 2020)
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◇ Photography and Editing: Noboru Terauchi Reporting and Writing: Ikuko Terauchi

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