cherry blossom forecast:
https://weathernews.jp/s/topics/201801/170075/ (Japanese version only)
https://tenki.jp/sakura/expectation/(Japanese version only)
http://sakura.weathermap.jp/ (Japanese version only)
when and where to see cherry blossoms (Japanese version only):
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Asakusa Toshi no Ichi
Hanetsuki(羽根突き) is a traditional New Year's game similar to badminton. It is played with a wooden battledore and a hard black seed to which feathers have been attached like a shuttlecock. Some people say it came from a Chinese play, but there are several possible origins of it.
Hanetsuki first appeared in a book "Kanmon-gyoki(看聞御記)" in 1432. A book published in 1444 says Hagoita was used at New Year's.Hagoita was also called Kogiita(胡鬼板).
Some people say Kogi(胡鬼) meant a dragonfly in ancient China, a ball with feathers looks like a mosquito and dragonflies prey on mosquitos that carry diseases, so Hanetsuki was held to wish to protect children from mosquito bites at New Year's.
Some say that Tsukubane(衝羽根:Buckleya lanceolata) was used as a shuttlecock in the Muromachi Period(1338-1573) and it was called Kogi.
The seed of soapberry(無患子, mukuroji) was used as the ball of a shuttlecock, because mukuroji means children who stay free of disease.
Hagoita portraying Sagicho(左義長), which is one of the New Year holiday events, were used as a gift or a wedding gift by aristocrats.
Hanetsuki became popular around the end of around the end of the seventeenth century and hagoita were sold as a toy for New Year's Holidays at year-end fairs.
In the late Edo period, hagoita decorated with a padded cloth picture became very popular.
On the first New Year's Day of a girl, people presented hagoita to her parents to drive away evil spirits .
"Hagoita Agemaki" designed by Katsumi Yumioka.
Agemaki is a courtesan and appears as the lover of Sukeroku(助六) in a Kabuki play named Sukeroku Yukari no Edozakura(助六由縁江戸桜), one of the Ichikawa family's repertoire comprising 18 classical Kabuki pieces(歌舞伎十八番).
Katsumi Yumioka, Chirmen no Oshie to Tsuribina to Temari (Tokyo:NIHON VOGUE-SHA.Co,Ltd.,2002),P.57.