Click on any phrase to play the video at that point.Close
One day, I bought a yo-yo. When I tried my first trick, it looked like this. I couldn't even do the simplest trick, but it was very natural for me, because I was not dextrous, and hated all sports. But after one week of practicing, my throws became more like this. A bit better. I thought, the yo-yo is something for me to be good at, for the first time in my life. I found my passion. I was spending all my time practicing. It took me hours and hours a day to build my skills up to the next level.
And then, four years later, when I was 18 years old, I was standing onstage at the World Yo-Yo Contest. And I won. I was so excited. "Yes, I did it! I became a hero. I may get many sponsors, a lot of money, tons of interviews, and be on TV!" I thought. (Laughter) But after coming back to Japan, totally nothing changed in my life. I realized society didn't value my passion. So I went back to my college and became a typical Japanese worker as a systems engineer. I felt my passion, heart and soul, had left my body. I felt I was not alive anymore.
As a result of these efforts, and the help of many others, it happened. I won the World Yo-Yo Contest again in the artistic performance division. I passed an audition for Cirque du Soleil. Today, I am standing on the TED stage with the yo-yo in front of you.
You can share this video by copying this HTML to your clipboard and pasting into your blog or web page.
need to get the latest Flash player.
Got an idea, question, or debate inspired by this talk? Start a TED Conversation.
Remember the days you struggled just to make a yo-yo spin, and if you were really fancy, to “walk the dog”? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Japanese yo-yo world champion BLACK tells the inspiring story of finding his life's passion, and gives an awesome performance that will make you want to pull your yo-yo back out of the closet.
Twice the world yo-yo champion, BLACK mixes dance, sport and performance to create unforgettable yo-yo moments. Full bio »