#10 Hagoita

“Oni ”

From the olden days, ONI has made appearances in Japanese folk tales and indigenous spiritual worship. They have been passed down from generation to generation as otherworldly, evil, horrific and destructive. Even in the 21st Century, ONI continues to inspire awe amongst the Japanese as an immeasurable supernatural force: the Japanese still recognize the presence of tormented souls and spirits due to the irrationalities of the human world, at the bottom of their hearts. In other words, the fear towards negative emotions and grudges directed towards one may have created the image of this horrific monster, the ONI.

 

It is a part of Japanese tradition to play “Hanetsuki” on New Year’s Day to wish good health. The practice itself has lost these implications, but the attempts to ward off bad luck are still retained to an extent. To this day, the “Hagoita” is decorated with auspicious imagery and the participants paint each other’s faces with black paint, a substance the ONI dislikes.

 

However, as a warrior constantly in battle with the chaotic nature of this day and age, I have chosen to deliberately place the ONI on the “Hagoita,” which is traditionally considered a taboo. I see this as a challenge for an artist working in the modern day: This piece shows my enthusiasm to confront the fears and shadows within my own mind, as well as modern day society that evokes images of hell. 

Art : Miho Morita

Art Direction : Takashi Ikezawa

Produce : Hitoshi Sagaseki

“Kunoichi – Female Ninja – ”

As a symbol of strength, beauty and skill, I chose Kunoichi for the theme of the “Racket and Hagoita” design project. Hair is a symbolic icon for females with great diversity as can be seen in the various hairstyles of modern life. I shaped her hair as the Japanese Shuriken, which is one of the most well known fighting tools of the Ninja, to show female power and vast possibilities. The black and red color for the background was inspired by Hanahuda, a traditional card game from Japan. The Kunoichi on Hagoita is 3-dimensionally made with clay, and the base is wrapped with fabric and decorated with lots of gold materials, to maintain the feeling of a traditional Hagoita.

 

Paddle design:
The Kunoichi (Koo-no-eechee) theme comes from the Japanese secret army of female Ninja ages ago, which expresses great female strength. Several splashes across the background represent her power and emotions. Her hair is fashioned in the shape of a shuriken (shoo-ree-ken), which is one of their most valuable weapons, commonly known as the “ninja stars.” From the Kunoichi girls’ sharp minds come their sharp weapons. The red, black, and white colors are based on the national bird of Japan, the Japanese tancho crane (similar to the American bald eagle). The tancho (tun-choe) is known as a symbol of luck and longevity.

Art : Mieko Anekawa 

Art Direction : Takashi Ikezawa

Produce : Hitoshi Sagaseki

“Kawaii/ Battle ”

Table Tennis Paddle

 

Cute/Kawaii is famous as the aesthetic of Japanese. Moreover Japan has the tradition of personifying animals to add humorous aspect to a story such as Choju Giga.
This Kawaii aesthetic has been more and more popular and accepted to people in the world. Kawaii objects really make people smile and in fact Japan is full of Kawaii objects. Japanese companies, banks and shops often make Kawaii objects as gifts to their customers. Kawaii objects are lubricant tool in Japanese society.

I put a hamster in your signature color: blue and yellow as a cute yet furious fighter on the paddle. Each side of the paddle has a different emotion. He/She is furious
facing a crisis on one side and is clenching his/her fist in triumph on the other side. During a game, players can have a good time, chuckling each other, showing the crisis side for losing a score and the triumph side for new score.

The reason why I use a hamster is that I have found that hamsters are chosen as the first animal for children in both U.S. and Japan.
Many people easily find connection to hamsters. More over this cute character attracts younger generation and female players.

Table tennis is an accessible sport/game to everybody. Unlike video games table tennis is physical and always needs a partner. Table tennis offers important aspects we miss in this digital society. I believe my paddle is very playful and helps people communicating each other with lots of laughter.

Hagoita Paddle

Kawaii aesthetic has come to the surface relatively recently and is considered as rather contemporary. On the other hand, Maki-e ( Japanese lacquer sprinkled with gold or silver powder as a decoration. This is the original technique invented in Japan and developed mainly in the Heian Period. Moreover lacquer is also called "Japan.") is very famous and traditional applied fine art.

I think that glassy yet elegant deep red and solid black colors of lacquer represent

Japanese aesthetic and spirituality.
The perfection of craftsmanship is another significant element of beauty in any traditional Japanese art. Making a hilt of Japanese sword is also extremely labor intensive.It is really well crafted to create a non-slippery hilt with carefully chosen materials for actual bloody sward battles. Yet the finished one is really beautiful.

Because the theme of the project is "Battle," I use the hilt of Japanese sward to convey the sprit and the dignity of the warrior. Hagoita paddles by my design may be a sublime beauty for battles.

Even though Kawaii object and Maki-e appear totally different, both are truly and uniquely Japanese and help understanding Japanese aesthetic and culture are profound and interestingly diverse.


Art : Ayakoh Furukawa
Art Direction : Takashi Ikezawa

Produce : Hitoshi Sagaseki

“SEISHIKUN”

<< table tennis racket ~ SEISHIKUN >>

The motif is a sperm which is a symbol males. This image of is a lot of sperms which are going into an ovum. I think, before the period of rapid growth Japan was more interesting, open-minded, enjoyable, and free. Recently, young men have become more feminized and young women have become more masculinized. So the number of children is decreasing. I want men to be more aggressive like a battling sperm. And so I selected this motif because of I feel that if men could be more assertive and women more feminine it would be good for Japan. 

<< battledore ~ 3D SEISHIKUN >>

The motif is a sperm which is a symbol males. This image is the sperm which is a survivor as well as a winner. He’s almost touching to the ovum so he’s a little self-conscious. I think, before the period of rapid growth Japan was more interesting, open-minded, enjoyable, and free. Recently, young men have become more feminized and young women have become more masculinized. So the number of children is decreasing. I want men to be more aggressive like a battling sperm. And so I selected this motif because of I feel that if men could be more assertive and women more feminine it would be good for Japan.

Art : Ryoko Goto

Art Direction : Takashi Ikezawa

Produce : Hitoshi Sagaseki

“No Battle”

Why do we battle? Don’t say, “To beat up the enemy, to dominate him” because it’s too anachronistic. The purpose of battles in the new age should be to coexist with the enemy and make our world better and richer by understanding each other. We can do it if we embrace humor and playfulness rather than power and weapons. Let’s play table tennis with this racket. 

Hagoita is a paddle for a Japanese traditional game called Hanetsuki. Decollated Hagoita, which is generally mounted with a three dimensional figure of young lady in kimono, is very popular in Japan as a New Year’s decoration as well as a charm against evil spirits. In this project, I intend to give a new twist on a typical figure of decollated Hagoita. Sparkling crystal particles and a gorgeous silver white tuft beautifully and even uniquely accentuate animals and Japanese Oni on the paddle.

Art : Yuriko Katori

Art Direction : Takashi Ikezawa

Produce : Hitoshi Sagaseki

“Family love”

A fighting man in a battlefield during the Sengoku era. He has to survive and come back home alive to see his newborn baby and beloved wife that have been waiting for his return.

A wife as a breadwinner during the Sengoku era. She never shows her concern that she might lose her husband in a battle field. She puts on a brave face and believes that her husband will come back alive from the battlefield.  

Art : Maki Miyoshi 

Art Direction : Takashi Ikezawa

Produce : Hitoshi Sagaseki

“Samurai”

Playing pingpong is like Samurai’s crossing swords in the history.
If they operate pingpong racket, you will see Samurai’s strong smash and keenly cut on the ball.

Playing pingpong is like women samurai who support men from behind in the history..If they operate pingpong racket, you will see Women Samurai's bright strategy to win.

Hagoita is a Japanese traditional racket for hanetsuki game.
Also Hagoita is believed as charm for girls.
People think Hagoita can hit back evils like pingpong ball away from their girls. Usually hagoita is done pretty doll decoration but I tried to made my hagoita doll fused with women's inner strength and vamp spirit to hit something new evil in our future.

Art : Mayuko Okada

Art Direction : Takashi Ikezawa

Produce : Hitoshi Sagaseki

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