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We're kicking off Women's History Month this year by highlighting some of the incredible women in the kendama community.

All of these women push kendama forward in their own unique ways and are inspiring the next generation of girls in kendama.

Sweets Team

Emily Caprio

Emily is from central Pennsylvania and was introduced to kendama by her Sweets teammate, Loren Marasco. Emily has wonderful energy and a vibrant personality - she is known to boast about her knowledge of song lyrics and has some very impressive burps.

Watching Emily get stoked after landing a trick on Instagram will always put a smile on your face.

Loren Marasco

Loren is a slayer from Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, and was introduced to kendama through Boogie T. She loves to travel, attend music festivals across the country, and works selling merch for Insomniac at some of their events. She is best friends with Emily Caprio, and the two spend a lot of time hanging out and pushing each other to level up!

Loren has a lot of passion and we have enjoyed watching her level up so quickly. We see so much potential from her!

Nonoka Kyodo

Nonoka is an insanely honed Sweets Kendamas Japan Team Member. She is always throwing down, repping Sweets at events in Japan along with her fellow team members, and would beat most of us in a game of KEN, hands down.

Nonoka is one of the best players in the world! She’s always posting crazy tricks on Instagram and inspires so many women in the community to level up.

Ten Accounts You Should Follow

It would be quite a long article if we mentioned everyone you should follow, so here's ten awesome people we want to recognize!

Arque (Kendamacares) 

 

Arque is the Founder and the mind behind Kendama Cares. Kendama Cares is an organization that was created in order to help benefit people, whether they be kendama players or not. She and her team work to help players with events in their own communities, but also provide ways that we, as a community, can benefit those who are less fortunate.

Running fundraisers, hosting food drives, and so much more, Arque puts all of her focus and time into uplifting others. Lovingly calling herself “A Kendama Mom”, it only takes a few moments chatting with Arque to sense her warmth and kindness. She’s an icon in our space and kendama wouldn’t be the same without her!

Haley Bishoff

Haley has been in the community for years, being part of the Kendama USA squad since 2013. Lots of players learned their very first tricks from one of her tutorial videos and know her for her unique style of play.

Starting the All Girls Kendama Open which has been held annually since 2017 and helping to host girls’ video contests every year, highlighting and uplifting women in the community is a clear priority in her life that we commend all of her efforts in!

Lisa Komatsubara (@lisakendama)

Lisa is a player from New Zealand and a member of the Kendama USA Tribe Team. Lisa has a thorough background in the juggling community, which likely was a huge component of how quickly Lisa has progressed since she began playing.

Lisa has been putting in a ton of hard work, spreading kendama love to juggling events and even hosting kendama events in her local communities. You can find more inspiration from her kendama account OR on her juggling account - she’s got so many tricks on lock!

Masako Hosoi (@masako_damaart)

 

Masako is an artist and the manager of the Kendama Shop Yume in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. The charming illustrations on her page range from simple, yet detailed line drawings, all the way to fully colored pieces in a variety of styles. If you ordered a kendama from us at some point last year, you may have even gotten some stickers in your package with her art on them!

While Masako doesn’t usually post any kendama tricks, her account is full of kendama cheer and a welcome addition to our timeline. Her account is worth scrolling through to see all of the different pieces she’s done.

Misumi Nakao AKA Missu (@jamcotti)

Missu has been destroying the game since her debut as a Terra Kendama Team Member in 2017 when she was only 12 years old! Her signature style and experimental stall tricks border the line of impossible.

If you’ve never seen Missu play, you’re missing out - her videos will leave you speechless!

Eva Dostálíková (@ewee__d)

 

Eva has been playing since ~2021, but her account started attracting a lot of attention this past month from the quick animations she’s been making.

Instead of doing a new trick every day for the 28 Tricks Later Challenge, Eva decided to do a new animation of a kendama trick every day. We’d highly recommend giving her a follow and going back to see all of her work in this brand-new approach to the challenge!

Jules Pherne (@inkycatart)

 

Jules is the face, brains, and talent behind InkyCatArt. She’s been consistently churning out eye-popping tama art since painting her first Tamas she got from us in ~2021. She’s been honing her skills, painted dozens of Tamas, and has made a name for herself in the community with her incredible tama designs.

From iconic characters we know and love, to her own original creatures and designs, there’s so much to love about Jules’ feed! Plus, if you love one of her designs and you’re quick, most of the tamas she paints are usually up for sale.

Stacey King (@starryeyedstacey)

 

Stacey is a great friend of ours from Colorado who's been playing kendama since early 2020. She's been absolutely killing it and is constantly leveling up her skills, both as a player, but also as a painter.

In addition, Stacey is working towards becoming an instructor for the Sweets Kendamas Foundation in order to activate her local community and spread kendama in her own way. She's a beacon of positivity and embodies kendama with her kindness and welcoming personality.

Ria Smith (@whirly.ria)

Ria is a player from Houston that's been playing since ~2020. While she's definitely honed on lots of kendama tech, Ria shines most brightly on the Freestyle Stage where she can put her energy and signature flow style on display for the crowd.

The start of 2023 also brought Ria a Lotus Kendama sponsorship, announced at Battle at the Border! We couldn't be more stoked for her and we're excited to see what she does next.

Adriana Arciniega (@slaydrianaa)

Adriana is from Southern California and plays for Quad Kendamas. Recently taking home the title of NAKO 22' Girls Open Division Champion, she's a force of skill to be reckoned with!

From string flow to fasthands, she's got a wide variety of kendama tricks at her disposal. You're sure to find some creative ideas on her feed!

 

Leave a comment below with some other awesome women in our community and maybe we can do a Part 2 of this article!