Kendama is a challenging game, and it seems only fitting that it would eventually end up on a game show where players are presented with rigorous obstacles for them to overcome. Naturally, when a new and emerging American TV network focused on gaming and gaming culture was launched in 2002, kendama would soon find its way into American living rooms - a very big kendama that is.
Before it was shut down in 2014, G4 was an American satellite TV channel that catered to video game players, tech geeks, and pop culture lovers. As a high schooler when G4 was in its heyday, I can tell you it was the best thing on TV. I would watch G4's Attack Of The Show! every week religiously. This was before the rise of streaming channels like Twitch, so G4 was a blessing for those interested in these niches. It also birthed the careers of Olivia Munn and Chris Hardwick, who would both go on to become notable entertainment personalities.
G4 also provided Japanese content, such as a number of anime shows and the original Ninja Warrior. But they also broadcasted reruns of a Japanese game show called Unbeatable Banzuke. In this show, contestants are put through a variety of obstacle courses, most of which are incredibly challenging. So it is no wonder that kendama was thrown into the mix somewhere along the way.
Below you can watch a full episode of Unbeatable Banzuke, where the last challenge is called the "Extra Kendama". Extra meaning life size, and we can only imagine what a life size Sol Kendama would be like!