If that was your reaction, you’re not alone. I was dumbfounded when I first saw this on TV. When I started picking up pen spinning in middle school, I thought it was cool and it gives me something to do while squeezing my brain juices dry for the answers to the examination questions. That was about it. And all I did was to spin it back and forth my thumb. Nowhere else. (Nobody in Japan seems to spin it that way anymore)
And who would’ve thought the country that brought us the art of making tea (茶道), the art of the sword (剣道), the art of calligraphy (書道), the art of flower arrangement (華道) and the many arts like 柔道, 合気道 and so on would actually come up with something like ペン回し道? (nah… actually I came up with that name but you get the idea)
It wasn’t the pen spinning that surprised me actually though I am really impressed by the extent it can go but the fact that they actually have a society where pen spinners (?) gather to spin pens really takes the idea of doing the best in anything you do to a whole new level.
And if you’re interested to join one, you might want to check the Keio Penspinning Society out.