It is perhaps one of the most famous anecdotes in the history of science. In 1666, a young Isaac Newton is sitting in his garden when an apple falls on his head. In a stroke of brilliant insight, he comes up with a theory of understanding gravitational force. Applying that anecdote to play is artist Yasuhiro Suzuki, who came up with the idea of replacing the ball of a kendama with an apple.
A kendama is a traditional Japanese toy that dates back to the 1700s. Inherently relying on gravity, the user pulls the ball upward and tries to land it on 1 of the 3 holes or 1 spike, each varying in difficulty. Ken means sword, and refers to the main body. Dama (or tama) means ball.