Kendama has the ability to chill people out by playing to a certain rhythm or just getting into a solid flow that makes them relax. For this reason alone, the kendama community has grown so much in our fast paced modern world, as many players say they play to help them relax. But now it appears that there is another way to enjoy kendama in a relaxing and interesting way: ASMR.
ASMR is a fairly recent internet trend that blends neuroscience, sensory, and art together to activate goosebumps, shivers down your spine, or skin tingling. Not everybody reacts the same way to ASMR, which is why so many different versions and themes of it exist. Auditory and visual stimulus create the sensory effects that ASMR users seek, and it only seems fitting that kendama has been used to create it.
ASMR is an acronym for “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response", where a tingling sensation is felt by viewers of videos that contain a number of audio and visual "triggers". The triggers are usually sounds that make the viewer feel a tingling sensation on their scalp, and from there, the sensation travels around the body. For some people this creates a soothing feeling, and the videos have soared in popularity.
Since ASMR's main trigger is sound-based, various items made of different materials can provide certain auditory noises that ignite the sensation people seek when listening to ASMR. As we know, kendamas are made of wood and make a distinct clacking noise when played. Youtube creators have used a kendama's clacking sound in multiple kendama ASMR videos, either by playing it or lightly tapping the ken and tama together. With the different wood grains and tama textures, especially the ones used by Sol Kendamas, it's showing that kendama has become an obvious item to produce AMSR inducing sounds.
The short answer here is no. Many people have what is known as misophonia, an extreme dislike for crinkling, crackling, smacking, clacking, the list goes on... There probably isn't one kendama player out there who hasn't annoyed a friend or family member by clacking away while grinding for a trick. It's entirely up to the user however if ASMR world work for them or not. The only way to find out is to try it, and it does take some patience to settle in and try to experience it properly, very much like kendama. So if you are a player, sitting down to try ASMR shouldn't be a problem!
Kendama and ASMR both require patience and sensory focus to achieve the desired results. And the fact that creators are using kendamas themselves to create noises and auditory sensations, is just another way of using kendama in a new and different way. The clacking sound that kendama makes can be annoying to some, and music to others ears. Either way, using a kendama to create ASMR videos only goes to show that kendama can be used for more than just tricks.