Set in Asakusa, a popular district of Tokyo still featuring the charms of the old Edo, Senso-ji temple is one of the most visited places in the city. That’s where Hagoita-ichi is held: this fair attracts people from all over Japan and displays hagoita (bats), shuttlecocks, kites, and other New Year decorations. The tradition dates back to the Edo period but has been popular again since the Second World War. With each bat sold, people clap their hands in time.
Hagoita are wooden bats (like ping-pong bats) that were used to play hanetsuki, a New Year battledore and shuttlecock game. Hagoita sold at Hagoita-ichi fair are only used for decoration purposes, bearing rich ornaments. On the face side, the hagoita traditionally show the portrait of kabuki actors or famous characters, and even nowadays, TV or sports stars, or anime characters.