Big Names of 2019 Featured on Japanese "Hagoita" Paddles

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 5 (Jiji Press)--Traditional Japanese doll maker Kyugetsu Co. unveiled Thursday colorful "hagoita" wooden paddles featuring 13 people who attracted widespread public attention this year, including Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

The routine hagoita-unveiling event, held at Kyugetsu's headquarters in Tokyo, was the 34th of its kind since the company started making special hagoita as part of an effort to get people to know hagoita paddles.

In the first set created in the new Reiwa era, the company created eight such hagoita. Reiwa began on May 1, when Emperor Naruhito assumed the throne.

Hagoita paddles are used in "hanetsuki," a traditional Japanese game that is similar to badminton and played mainly during the New Year holidays.

The celebrities who decorated this year's hagoita include Michael Leitch, who captained the Japanese national rugby team during its impressive campaign in the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and Akira Yoshino, this year's co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry recognized for the development of lithium-ion batteries and honorary fellow of major Japanese chemical maker Asahi Kasei Corp. <3407>.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press