This small wooden hagoita (battledore) features a painted design on one face; the reverse is unpainted. Unlike most hagoita, this one is flat and does not have three-dimensional fabric sculptural detailing on the front. The painting depicts a bust portrait of a girl, her eyes upraised, waiting to strike at a shuttlecock. Part of her arm and the battledore she is holding are visible in the frame behind her hairbow. The girl, who is wearing a red and pink kimono, has a bobbed haircut and a green bow in her hair. The bob and the likely time period for this battledore indicate that she may be a moga, or "modern girl," a type similar to the American flapper. She is painted against a blue background, and the handle is unpainted.
Moga, short for modaan gaaru ("modern girl"), is a term used to describe the progressive, materialistic, and modern flapper-like female archetype of the Taisho era (1912-1926). Moga, typically sporting bobbed hair and Western-style clothing, were financially independent and socially liberated urbanites, and became the subject of much romanticization in novels (such as Junichiro Tanizaki's Naomi, 1924) and art (Kobayakawa Kiyoshi's "Tipsy," 1930). A strong conservative backlash during the years leading up to WWII saw the moga as a symbol of Westernization and decadence.