It takes a while but games from other countries often get picked up by American kids. Baseball is an American game popular in Japan. Kendama is a game that is played with a toy that is popular in Japan. It is like the old cup and ball game where you catch a ball attached by a string to a cup. The game has rules, and is even tiered by official rankings. Those who take it seriously and learn the tough moves and can do all kinds of tricks in kendama are actually considered by companies in Japan as better prospects for employees. And here you guys thought all you needed to do to impress your Japanese clients was to be great at golf and karaoke!
Kendama is taking off in other countries. There is even a World Cup championship for playing with the toy. It kind of reminds me of the cubing championships over here if the solvers had to learn dance moves to carry out while they manipulated the puzzles. It is an interesting toy that looks like something that would be displayed alongside your wooden Dutch shoes. It is just a wooden ball on a handle that has two cups and a point. The ball is made out of wood and has a hole in it. It is attached to the handle by a string. You can manipulate the ball or handle to catch either one with the other.
The premise is simple, but the application of it can get involved. The Japanese version of the game recognizes specific moves for different levels of ranking. If you get a high ranking, then that is when you look like a better employee prospect to companies. I guess it has to do with the commitment and practice required to learn the moves. I suppose it shows a personality trait that would be good in the corporate world.