Home > Introducing the Traditional Crafts of Tokyo > 23 Edo Oshi-e Hagoita (Padded Collage Paddles)

Edo Oshi-e Hagoita
(Padded Collage Paddles)

23 Edo Oshi-e Hagoita (Padded Collage Paddles)
Main Areas of Manufacture
Sumida Ward, Koto Ward, Katsushika Ward
Designation/Certification Dates
July 15th, 1985 (Tokyo Certification)
Traditional Technologies and Techniques
  1. Creating the Oshi-e (padded collages) that feature in Edo Oshi-e Hagoita (padded collage paddles) involves stuffing cotton wadding between a stencil outline and a fabric base. The finished Oshi-e is then affixed to a Hagoita (a paddle) with paste using a spatula.
  2. The faces of characters featured on Edo Oshi-e Hagoita are created after a surface has been smoothed by the application of successive layers of gofun (crushed seashell powder). A fine-tipped brush is used to create the face's eyes, its mouth, and the nose.
  3. Oshi-e collages are comprised of a number of smaller elements. The constructing of a finished Oshi-e involves applying Japanese paper to the back of each element as it is completed. This process involves the use of a spatula and paste.
Traditionally Used Raw Materials
Paulownia wood is used for the Hagoita paddles.
Silk and cotton textiles are used to make Oshi-e. Cotton wadding is used to fill out the pictures.
Silk thread is used for hair.
History and Characteristics

Each year, when people start to feel the onset of the year's end, as part of a long-standing tradition, there is a market selling Hagoita including Edo Oshi-e Hagoita (padded collage paddles) which occurs from December 17th to 19th. This event takes place in the grounds of Asakusa Temple in Taito Ward, Tokyo. Within each of the participating stalls, there are an amazing number of colorful Hagoita displayed which look out on interested visitors. It is a well-known event that both strikes up business as well as welcomes the end of the current year.

Hagoita were originally used to play a form of Japanese battledore (a forerunner of badminton). In ancient times, "Hagoita" were referred to by the names "Kogiita" and "Hanekoita," while shuttlecocks were known by names such as "Koginoko," "Hagonoko" and "Tsukubane."

On the 5th day of the first month in the fourth year of the Eikyo Era (1429-1441), it is recorded that members of the imperial family, the aristocracy and their attendants all gathered at an imperial palace. And they engaged in a game using Hagoita paddles being divided into teams of men and women.

At the time, Hagoita were decorated in a number of ways. One decorative style was called "Kaki-e Hagoita," which involved pictures being drawn directly on the surface of a paddle. There was also a style called "Hari-e Hagoita," where paper and cloth was affixed to paddles. Additionally, there were extravagant and flashy "Sagicho Hagoita" colored with "gofun," and some examples went so far as to be inlayed with gold and silver leaf, or decorated with maki-e (gold or silver lacquer).

On entering the Edo Period (1603-1868), decorations began to be made in which material was stuck to thick cardboard backings, or cotton wadding was used to add thickness. It was through such methods that the Oshi-e techniques developed, and these techniques resulted in it being possible to create collages with a three-dimensional visual effect.

During the Bunka and Bunsei Eras (1804-1829), as the culture of the common classes in Edo developed, along with a boom in Kabuki, there was a lot of work published by the numerous woodblock artists who were active at the time.

Against this backcloth, there were advances in the technology used to make Oshi-e and it was possible to make Hagoita on which the likenesses of famous Kabuki actors were featured, this genre being called "Yakusha (actor) Hagoita."

As each year drew to a close, there used to be competitive demand for the role depictions of that year's popular Kabuki stars. In this respect, the sale of Yakusha Hagoita acted as a barometer of actors' popularity in any particular year.

Contact Details
Manufacturing Area
Cooperative Name
Tokyo Hina Doll Manufacturing Association
AddressTosho Center Building 4th Floor, 2-1-9
Yanagibashi, Taito Ward, Tokyo 111-0052
Telephone No.03 (3861) 3950
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