True enough. Some of the claims that come out of the marketing efforts of the Tenkara USA company are a bit exaggerated or slightly historically off of center, and the attempt is to create this impression that this whole Tenkara thing is something new and exciting. Really, based on the BEST historical and scientific evidence, fly fishing developed roughly within the same time era in the East and West. Due to the relative isolation of Japan for centuries, Tenkara was preserved in a relatively primitive form and advanced in technique rather than technology. This was true of most things in Japan until the Meiji Restoration.

Tenkara is only "new" to people who have never tried it. It is as common in Japan as ultralight spin fishing here. You can buy Tenkara tackle in almost any sporting goods department at any department or discount store, hardware stores, and so forth. Tenkara is unusual for most Western fly anglers. But it truly is pretty much the same thing as what our Western forebearers were doing in the late Middle Ages in Europe.