Photographs Tokyo Asakusa Sensōji: Hagoita

Hagoita is a wooden racket for a traditional game played in the new year. One side is flat, while the other side has decorations. On this day, 17 December 2010, there was an annual hagoita market taking place at Sensōji. Traditional designs include ladies in kimono and figures of samurai, quite often kabuki actors, but there are modern ones as well, as the picture above demonstrates (Hello Kitty). Figures for medium-sized rackets take about a week to make, as they are hand-made.