What is Hagoita Ichi
The Hagoita Ichi Fair happens yearly in Asakusa. Hagoita are rectangular bats used in playing hanetsuki–a traditional New Year’s game similar to badminton. The bats sold at the market are distinctive, as they are purely ornamental good luck charms. Each are decorated by hand using lacquer, embroidery, or silk cloth.
The traditional versions of hagoita feature handsome kabuki actors and elegant beauties, but there are also some decorated with images of popular celebrities, sumo wrestlers, athletes, and cartoon characters. They are available in different sizes, from couple centimeters long to over one meter in length.
History of Hagoita Ichi
The hagoita were originally used in playing the traditional New Year game hanetsuki. It was a popular game among the girls during the Edo era. The origins of Hagoita Ichi came from the custom of giving a hagoita for the healthy growth of girls. The hagoita are used as a “board to bounce back evil.”
What to expect from Hagoita Ichi
When buying a hagoita, prepare to clap hands in harmony with the seller. It’s not tricky, just watch the other buyers and you’ll soon pick up the rhythm of this cheerful festival.
- Choosing own hagoita
- Exploring the wide array of stalls for size and design of cutomized hagoita
When it is held
December 17 to December 19 annually.
Where it is held
2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to
The temple is a five-minute walk from Asakusa Station, served by the Ginza Line, Asakusa Line and Tobu railway lines. Hagoita stalls are clustered around the main hall of Sensoji Temple.