JAPANESE TRADITIONAL GAME (HANETSUKI)
Hanetsuki is one of the many Japanese traditional games. It resembles Badminton but is played without a net. Hanetsuki is played using a rectangular wooden paddle known as Hagoita and a brightly coloured shuttlecock called Hane, which is made from hard soapberry and a few feathers. Hanetsuki originally served as a rite during exorcisms but it became a game for girls during the Muromachi Period (1333-1568). The ancient Japanese believed that diseases could be acquired from mosquitoes, which were eaten by dragonflies. The shuttlecocks in the game Hanetsuki represent dragonflies. Hanetsuki is often played during the New Year to ward off mosquitoes, hoping that the Japanese children would not get bitten. The Hagoita were also believed to have the ability to ward off evil spirits during the Sengoku Period (Warring States Period) during the mid 15th century to the early parts of the 17th century.