Geisha Hagoita (Japanese Dolls)

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Past Exhibit

Geisha Hagoita (Japanese Dolls)

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Arch Two , Area 19

A small, decorative paddle. It's situated on the right side of the cabinet in front of the large wooden Geisha.


The paddle, also known as a 'Hagoita', is a rectangular handheld object, often painted and decorated with a variety of coloured fabrics depicting figures or iconic symbols of Japanese culture. This particular Hagoita depicts a Japanese Geisha.


The purpose of the Hagoita was originally to be used as a paddle to play a game known as Hanetsuki, which involved hitting a shuttle-cock, much like Badminton. This was a game often played by upper-class girls. However, as Hagoita's became increasingly decorative and artistic, they became used more as attractive household objects or left at Japanese shrines.