Traditional crafts in Taito city

Edo Oshi-e Hagoita

Padded Collage Battedoles

Battledores are used to hit a shuttlecock back and forth in a game played at New Year’s. Originating as a game played by the nobility, it made its way to common people during the Edo Period (1603-1867) where it became popular. References to battledores have been recorded as early as the Muromachi period (1336-1573), but it was during the Edo period when oshi-e, padded collages that had a three-dimensional quality to them, was developed where cloth would be affixed to a thick paper mat or cloth would be stuffed with cotton, and thus the two were combined together to create Edo oshi-e hagoita. Yakusha hagoita, battledores featuring images of famous kabuki actors as they appeared on stage, call to mind the popular culture of Edoites.
Every year in December, the grounds of Sensoji Temple in Asakusa are home to a hagoita market, one of the many scenes that come to mind when it comes to the year’s end in Japan.