"Shimekazari" in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. Photography by Alex Abian of Flickr. Many Japanese decorate the entrances of their homes with Shimekazari during the New Year’s season to ward off evil spirits. They are made of Shimenawa, sacred Shinto rope of rice straw, used to indicate the sacred areas where gods descend.
Japanese New Year - Hanetsuki (羽根突き) Hanetsuki is a traditional Japanese game commonly associated with New Year celebrations. It is similar to Western badminton, but without a net. The paddles, called hagoita (羽子板), are often sold for decorative purposes, serving as a New Years good luck charm.