This hagoita (battledore or racket) is used to play the game of hanetsuki, which is similar to badminton. The design featured on this battledore is of a woman wearing a red kimono with a gold, white, and blue floral design. The left side of her kimono is gold with an orange, blue, and white design. Her obi (sash) is black and silver checkered. She is holding a yellow fan with an orange center and black and red flowers on her left. Her face is white and painted with pink lips, black and gray eyes, a pink nose, and gray eyebrows. She is wearing a gold hat with a band in same red fabric as her kimono, decorated with pink and silver flowers. Her hat is tied on with orange rope. There is a bell mounted on the paddle behind the hair. The background is cloth painted blue and yellow to mimic the sky at sunset, with cherry blossoms scattered throughout. The handle is covered in black velvet cloth.
Hagoita (battledores) are wooden paddles, originating in Japan and used to play hanetsuki, though often serving a more ornamental purpose. They are usually painted, sometimes with lacquer, and feature auspicious symbols or complex, three-dimensional collages with silk, washi paper, or other cloth. Traditional hagoita commonly feature portraits of famous kabuki actors or characters. This tradition dates to the 17th century; decorative hagoita are still produced today.
Hanetsuki is a traditional Japanese game played in a similar manner to badminton, but without the use of a net. Hanetsuki is popular during the New Year. There are two variations: one in which a single person attempts to keep the shuttlecock in the air for as long as possible and another in which two people hit the shuttlecock back and forth.