A little before Christmas my friend Jill and I went to this Hagoita festival at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, the part of Tokyo that years ago was the working-class district and has retained the old friendly, marketplace, bustling atmosphere. Hagoita are paddles used in a traditional sort-of badminton game to celebrate the New Year. I bought a tiny Year of the Tiger hagoita for Chris. They’re super elaborate and each one is a little different…and fairly expensive! When someone purchased one from any of the little stands selling them, the onlookers would do this synchronized clap with a little chant and cheer for the purchase.
Happy New Year!