Buaisou - Kendama

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During Japan’s Edo period at the beginning of the 19th century, indigo-blue was at peak popularity and there were some 1,800 indigo farmers in Tokushima prefecture.

Today, there are five.

Farmers stopped growing the labour-intensive crop as they aged or turned to more profitable produce like carrots, literally making indigo farming a dying craft.

The sixth and youngest indigo farm in Tokushima, BUAISOU, was founded in 2012 by Kenta Watanabe and Kakuo Kaji. The team grew to include Yuya Miura, a tailor, and Yuki Ken – a banker who left his profession to join BUAISOU’s “farm to closet” project.

These four artisans grow indigo plants, and through a process of fermentation, they make natural dye that is a rich violet-blue color known as “Japan Blue.” They are reviving not one, but two heritage crafts as they take on both farming and dyeing which has traditionally been separate disciplines in Japan. Meanwhile, the team is creating contemporary slow made products such as tote bags, aprons, and menswear items.


Almost every child that has grown up in Japan has seen a kendama, a wooden traditional Japanese toy consisting of a ken (sword) and tama (ball) connected by a length of string.

The ken has three cups and a spike that fits into a hole that has been drilled through the center of the ball. Using their knees, kendama players bounce as they pull the ball upward so that it may either be caught in one of the cups or land on the spike.

After dyeing, without being completely coated in chemicals, it is finished with a layer of hemp oil to preserve the wood.

Colour transfer can occur when used, and the texture and colour will come out over time due to scratches and fading, resulting in an original colour.

*Friction may result in loss of colour.

material : wood (Sakura and Japanese zelkova)
size : h180mm (ball)Φ80mm
box size : w79×d195×h65mm
colour : indigo

Depending on the characteristics of the wood, warping or cracking may occur.

Sun damage may result from UV exposure.

Please keep products away from direct sunlight as it may cause discoloration.

Oil used for the finishing coat may come off. A few things to be aware of before purchase.