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Hanetsuki (Japanese: 羽根突き or 羽子突き) is a Japanese traditional game, similar to badminton without a net, played with a rectangular wooden paddle called a hagoita and a brightly coloured shuttlecock. Often played by girls at the New Year, the game can be played by any gender in two fashions: by one person attempting to keep the shuttlecock aloft as long as possible, or by two people batting it back and forth. Players who fail to hit the shuttlecock get marked on the face with India Ink. Traditionally, the longer the shuttlecock remains in the air, the greater protection from mosquitoes the players will receive during the coming year. Although hanetsuki is not as popular as it used to be, decorative hagoita are commonly sold throughout Japan.
Hanetsuki sometimes has pictures of kabuki theatre performers on it.[clarification needed]
- The Kanji Dictionary, Spahn & Hadsamitzky, Tuttle, 1996
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