Tuesday, January 10, 2006

 

Hagoita Badminton

Once upon a time, the New Year in Japan was partly celebrated through badminton games. Of course, the actual rackets used were no ordinary badmintons! They were beautiful, festive things, called hagoita in Japanese.

Nowadays, people aren’t likely to go out and play badminton, though the rackets themselves are still a popular decoration. There are even whole exhibits dedicated to displaying the efforts of various artists or even the casual craftsperson. I literally have dozens of photos, but here are a few.

Here is everyone’s favorite – the geisha hagoita. She’s playing a small drum called a tsuzumi.



Since it’s the year of the dog, I thought I’d better include a small hagoita with a dog on it.



Like all traditions, that of the hagoita is constantly being reinterpreted. Someone has made a “belly dancer” hagoita for us all to enjoy. I’ll be looking for the Gwen Stefani hagoita next year!

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