Latest News

Wednesday, 18th December 2013
In Events In Japan,

Traditional 'hagoita' fair gets underway

Visitors to Tokyo this week would be wise to attend the annual hagoita fair, which is taking place in the Asakusa district over the course of this week.

The year-end event sees around 30 stalls set up that sell hagoita, which are the ornamental paddles that adorn the walls of kabuki theatres throughout Japan.

Traditionally, the paddles carry the name of the actor in kanji with their understudy or support also named in smaller symbols. They are hung up on the exterior walls of the kabuki theatre at the beginning of every season.

Paddles at the market feature myriad designs, from the usual kanji name to colourful designs that depict Japanese politicians and performers.

The most elaborate pieces have been known to go for around $8,000 (£4,800) although venders will be selling much cheaper designs as well. So there is really no excuse not to visit this unique and highly traditional festival.

Written by Mark Smith