Updated: June 19, 2017
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3 Fascinating Toys Japanese Children Play With

In this technological age, Japanese children love their digital devices, just like children from other developed nations. But some childhood toys are still popular among them. Here are 3 of them!

1. Karuta

Karuta waka and kana https://goo.gl/ro0Qmt
Even since karuta was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century, it has remained a mainstay of children's entertainment. Basically, there are two kinds of cards in a karuta deck - "reading" and "grabbing" cards. As one person reads aloud from a "reading" card, the players must listen carefully and then grab the "grabbing" card that corresponds with it.

As karuta requires that players exhibit a photographic memory and lightning fast reflexes, it's no wonder why this game is so popular due to its competitive nature!

2. Kendama

Verschiedene kendama gross und klein https://goo.gl/GMZr0s
The kendama - made up of "ken" (the handle) and "tama" (the ball) - requires you to throw the ball up in the air and juggle it in 3 cups. It seems deceptively simple, but this ingenious children's toy tests your hand-eye coordination, reflexes and willingness to try out new moves.

In fact, kendama has evolved to be a competitive sport that is well loved by youth all over the world. Don't believe me? Just check out the Kendama World Cup that is held in Hiroshima in July every year!

3. Unicycle

%e4%b8%80%e8%bc%aa%e8%bb%8a %2814190140276%29 https://goo.gl/yHkqxk
Requiring children to maintain their balance on one wheel, unicycles are a fun and addictive form of exercise. And Japanese schools leverage this fun factor and provide unicycles so that children can play with them during recess and have fun while building up their fitness and core strength at the same time. Talk about a win-win situation! Drop by an elementary school and watch children strut off their skills on unicycles!
Isn't it cool that Japanese children still find joy without the aid of technological gadgets? We can certainly take a leaf from their book and play with these toys, learning how to have fun while training our body and mind!
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