Hagoita Ichi

The Hagoita-Ichi (Battledore Fair) is an annual fair held at the Sensoji Temple grounds in Tokyo between December 17-19.


Some 50 open-air stalls selling hagoita (battledores), shuttlecocks, kites and other New Year decorations stand huddled together, and numerous people visit from all over the country.



This is a traditional fair dating back to the Edo Period in the 16th century, but it was apparently only after World War II that the name Hagoita Ichi became popular.



A hagoita is a rectangular board with a handle used for playing a New Year game called hanetsuki. It is similar to hitting badminton shuttlecocks with large ping-pong rackets.


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The hagoita sold at Hagoita-ichi are not for practical use though, but instead are good-luck charms and ornaments used for decorative purposes.

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The front of the hagoita is usually designed with images of elegantly made-up Kabuki actors, geishas, popular celebrities, TV personalities, athletes, and anime characters of the year (such as Hello Kitty and Gundam as pictured below).



Below is the hagoita which we bought in the fair this year.



8 thoughts on “Hagoita Ichi

  1. Some of these things look like works of art. Be worth getting the Hello Kitty of Gundam ones just to hang it on the wall. Haven’t seen any of these in my neck of the woods, though. Sigh. Great photos, as always.

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    • Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind comments – please come back often. I have a Canon EOS 1000D (Rebel XS).

      We have been living in Tokyo for just over 2 years now and are really loving it. Are you going to come back for a visit?

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