Wednesday, March 21

Japanese pen spinning

16 year-old Ryuki Omura won the 2008 pen-spinning championship

Now, I've seen people spin a pen around their thumb in the US. The first time I saw it I was kind of amazed and tried it for awhile. It was kinda like the tech-deck (mini-skateboard) fad.

But, in Japan, my students were on a different echelon of pen-spinning. Students could spin a pen around a few fingers. Now that I remember it, some of my students had one of the special elongated spinning pens. I had thought they had purposely added another pen cap and, well, in my efforts to get said students to focus on English I was just simply frustrated rather than interested.

Official pen-spinning weight and size--considerably longer than normal pens
The truth is this isn't just a little fad in Japan. In fact, there are Japanese tournaments, the Pen Spinning Association of Japan and even a Pen Spinning Club at certain universities, the first rule of which is to not spin pens in class (good idea). Here's a bunch of Japanese pen spinners:

And, if you really want your minds blown (on a small pen-scale level) check a trailer for the 2011 World championships:

Is it a sport or just a silly hobby? I'll leave that decision up to you.


  1. I now want one of these pens...

  2. I now need a special pen?

  3. I always tried the around-the-thumb trick but seems impossible. These Japanese enthusiasts are extraordinary!

    1. I could really never get it either.

    2. Ummm, actually it's relatively easy. Just find a good video, and you can learn it in a day. I've learned a few tricks myself and bought some pens, and I've learned some tricks. The hard part is being dedicated, as it can be frustrating.


You should probably engage in some conversation.