Almost every hobby has the potential to become a tournament these days, and the pen spinning tournament is the latest addition.
I've known how to do this neat little parlor trick since high school. We picked it up from the ROTC kids, and soon everyone with deft enough digits was doing it in class. Seems the skill (not useful for anything but eliciting oohs and ahhs) has gone and spread in the last couple decades. The Japanese have taken pen-spinning to the next level, with the Pen Spinning Association of Japan recently crowning a 16 year-old champ. Ryuki Omura was one of 16 finalists selected from 276 video entries.
Contestants performed 30-second routines in front of a crowd of journalists and other pen-spinning aficionados, and were judged on technique and artistry. It's easy enough to learn, and the tools are always handy (just grab any pen) but toy company Takara Tomy Corp has already designed a pen specifically for spinning. It's longer than an ordinary pen and has adjustable weights on either end. I gotta get my sticky little fingers on one of those and start practicing. The Pen Spinning Association already has plans for an international competition.
Reuters notes, "According to the Pen Spinning Association's Web site, spinning tricks range from "normal" -- resting the pen on the side of the middle finger, then flicking it to writing mode -- to "sonic" -- holding the pen between the middle and ring fingers, and twirling it so it rests between the middle and index fingers. Champion Omura went a step further, showing off a quick combination of tricks that takes the pen from his little finger to the rest of his fingers, then to his palm and the back of his hand. The video clip he submitted for the contest is posted on the group's Web site (http://ptj2008.pen-spinning.org/)."
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