Pen spinning is a form of object manipulation that involves the deft manipulation of a writing instrument with one's hands. Although it is often considered a form of self-entertainment (usually in a school/office setting), multinational competitions and meetings are often held.
This pastime is referred to as "pen mawashi" in Japan, or, literally, "pen spinning." It is regarded as more prevalent among "rōnins", or high-school graduates who take a year off in order to study by themselves in preparation for university entrance exams.
Pen spinning is also very prevalent in Hong Kong, often taken up as a hobby by Hong Kong students. When displaying signs of nervousness, a person would bite their nails or do other similar activities; students usually spin their pens. There have been many witness accounts where masses of students spun their pens while doing their HKCEE exams.
Presently, there is no documentation to show who started the pen spinning phenomenon. A lot of people believe it originated in South Korea then spread across Asia. It was then picked up in Europe and North America. However, it is understood that a Japanese pen spinner named Hideaki Kondoh was one of the earliest pen spinners to start a pen spinning website.