Gotenmari and Kites

The Gotenmari of Honjyo City originate from mari, a ball made by the waiting-women of the lord of the Honjyo castle, Tateoka Mitsushige.
Among the various Gotenmari made in Japan, the Honjyo Gotenmari is known for its beautiful tassels hanging in three places and the colorfulness of its geometrical patterns.
The body of the ball is made from crumpled paper filled with rice hull at its core. This body is sewn shut using braided threads. The traditional patterns from the feudal government period include the chrysanthemum, labyrinth, and spiderweb. Gotenmari used to be toys, but are now prized as ornaments.

There are many traditional kites since the days of sailing in Akita. The most famous are the Noshiro and Yuzawa kites.
Noshiro kites date back to the Meireki age (1655–1658), when people competed with each other to test their kite-flying skills. The typical drawings on the kites are of Kabuki or Berabou (a person sticking out their tongue), with one person painted per kite.
Yuzawa kites have been used since the Genroku age (1688–1704), and there are mainly two types, Musha-e kites (samurai-picture kites) and Managu kites (managu means eyes).
Managu kites are drawn using only black Japanese ink, so they stand out from other colorful kites. These unique kites hum as they fly.