Princess Mako and shogi champ Sota Fujii among celebrities featured ornamental wooden paddles
Japan Times -- Dec 07
Princess Mako, her husband-to-be, Kei Komuro, teenage shogi sensation Sota Fujii, a giant panda cub and seven other figures who featured heavily in the media this year have been featured on colorful hagoita wooden paddles unveiled by Japanese traditional doll maker Kyugetsu Co. on Wednesday.

The annual hagoita-unveiling event was held at the company's headquarters in Tokyo's Taito Ward.

Hagoita paddles are used in hanetsuki, a traditional Japanese game that is similar to badminton and played mainly during the New Year period. The paddles displayed at the event are larger than those actually used in the game.

The informal engagement of Princess Mako and Komuro was announced on Sept. 3. Their wedding is set to take place on Nov. 4, 2018, after a formal engagement ceremony on March 4, 2018. Princess Mako is the eldest child of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and the first grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

Fujii, who at the age of 14 years and two months in October 2016, became the youngest professional player of the traditional Japanese board game shogi. The young player, who holds the rank of fourth dan, set a record winning streak of 29 official matches in June this year.

News source: Japan Times
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