Saito Retsu, Atsuma

As you see in the photo, “Kendama Ken-chan” often sports a kendama around his neck. As both a kendama master and an educator, he established a kendama club in his home town of Atsuma, and is working to form a new community from infants to the elderly with the generation-spanning policy of “no crying, be kind to others, and no farting”.

He has participated several times in the “Kendama Guinness Record Challenge”, which has become a tradition at the Kohaku Uta Gassen every year, and gives lectures and workshops on kendama about 70 times a year.

He is Chief of the Social Education Group, Lifelong Learning Division, at the Atsuma Board of Education, wher he mainly functions as a coordinator to connect the community and schools. He spent a year-long working holiday in Australia learning about pesticide-free agriculture, natural farming, and permaculture, returning to Japan to work in non-profit organisations providing nature experiences.