Skinny and Fatty is an old black and white japanese children's film from 1958 that was Quite popular in the United States due to repeated showings on The CBS Children's Film Festival in the 1960s and 70s.The Film features Kendama in the story line and is a must see classic even if you don’t play kendama. While the name may throw you off, it brings us back the real intensity of making friends at school and even in our world at times can bring, and the bullying that occurs.
Oyama (fatty), just moved from Toyko to a rural town with his family and must transfer to a new school. Oyama as the new kid in school, is teased for being fat, and is laughed at and made fun of for his size until a saving grace comes when he meets his new best friend Komatsu. His new desk mate, Komatsu, shows him that he has to believe in himself and to keep trying at everything he does.
Sitting down at Komatsu’s home sharing tea and sweet potatoes, Komatsu mentions to Oyama that he is a cup and ball champion (kendama champion). Komatsu shows the true essence of kendama love and gifts Oyama a kendama when he recognizes that he is stuck in his mindset of not believing in himself.
This short film is an old yet true testament of having a goal, believing in yourself enough to try it over and over again, and not giving up in the process. If you haven’t seen this film, pay homage to some old kendama wisdom and a story about friendship, belief and perseverance in this classic Japanese film Skinny and Fatty.