2010年12月09日

A 'hagoita' battledore is a decorative rectangular board used for 'hanetuki',Japanese badminton,which was depicted for the first time in the document issued in the 14th century.

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A 'hagoita' was originally sporting gear, yet it had turned to decorative to be used as a talisman for a girl against a evil spirit. With the time of Edo period in the 17th century, a 'osie-hagoita' that a 'kabuki' actor's portrait was described on the back of it using a piece of paper, cloth and padding, was in fashion. Even today, this tradition has taken root as a gift to a newborn girl in the New Year, hoping her sound growth. The 'hagoita' in the hands of the kimono beauty in the picture is a 'osie-hagoita' itself. By the way, 'hagoita-ichi',battledore fair, has come to be held at many temples in the country in Dec., since in the 17th century, among them the fair of 'Senso-ji' temple in Asakusa, held between Dec. 17 and 19, is outstanding.

Licensed tour guide,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 07:05 | Sports and games | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年04月17日

The life-size dolls playing the Kai-awase game are set up in the room of the Nishi-no-maru of the Himeji-jo Castle in Hyogo Prefecture near Osaka.

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These rooms were for Sen-hime who was a daughter of the second Tokugawa Shogun, Hidetada, and her waiting women. She lived here until her husband, Honda Tadatoki, passed away at the age of 31 in the 17th century. A pair of kimono-clad dolls in the picture is displayed to reconstruct the circumstances existing at the time. The scene of the women of high class samurai warriors family enjoying the kai-awase, pairing the two parts of clamshells, can be seen here.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 10:53 | Sports and games | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年01月06日

The plaything for “Kai-awase” , the game of pairing the two parts of clamshells, consists of beautiful shellwork with paintings which depict the nobility’s life in Kyoto in the Heian period, toward the 9th-12th century.

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“Kai-awase” was originally played among the noblewomen in Kyoto in the 9th century, later it had spread itself into women from the upper-class Samurai warriors' families by the end of the Edo period,the latter 19th century. Although this game can be seen very seldom today, a set of kai-awase was an item to be included in the brides's household throughout the feudal age. Each shell only matches perfectly with the other half. Thus, the game symbolized a couple to be met for a happy marriage. The size of clamshells were carefully chosen to fit in the palms of women's hands. Players sat around hundreds of clamshells randomly faced-down on tatami mats and sought for a right pair, like a card game, Concentration. After the game,the shells were put away into octagonal boxes of elaborate work of painting on gold leaf.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 20:46 | Sports and games | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする