Ornamental battledores (hagoita) at Awashima Jinja in Wakayama prefecture. Battledores were used in a game called hanetsuki, which is similar to badminton, but without a net. When one person allows the birdie to fall, the other player draws on his or her face with charcoal. Hanetsuki is usually played at New Year’s.
Editor’s note: this post was originally published in February 2008 and has been updated.