Hanetsuki is a traditional Japanese New Year's game, played with a wooden paddle called hagoita (see picture on the left) and a shuttle called hane (see picture below). The game resembles badminton, played without a net. While the game's popularity has declined in recent times, beautifully ornamented hagoita are still a popular collection item.

In the middle of December, the Hagoita Market (Hagoita-ichi) is held at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, where ornamented wooden paddles (hagoita) are sold at numerous stands. The paddles come in different sizes, and most of them feature portraits of kabuki actors and beautiful Edo ladies. But also portraits of celebrities from entertainment, sport and politics such as Prime Minister Koizumi, Harry Potter, soccer players Nakata and Beckham and fantasy characters such as Kitty-chan and Spiderman can be found on some hagoita.

Koizumi, Harry Potter, Beckham
Shuttlecock stand
Page last updated: December 23, 2002