Photo/IllutrationFrom a major leaguer to a Nobel laureate, doll shop Kyugetsu Co. shows this year’s paddles featuring people recognized for their excellence in Tokyo on Dec. 5. (Jin Nishioka)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Brains, brawn and grace were featured as the “Faces of 2018” in a renowned toy shop’s annual lineup of “hagoita” paddles.

Every year around this time, Tokyo-based Kyugetsu Co. reveals the paddles adorned by the faces of people who have brightened up society with their impressive feats.

Sports-related people were well represented on the nine paddles released on Dec. 5: Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels two-way rookie; Yuzuru Hanyu, who became the first male figure skater to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the singles competition in 66 years; U.S. Open tennis champion Naomi Osaka; Koichi Ogata, the Hiroshima Carp manager who led the team to three consecutive Central League championships; and golfer Tiger Woods, who made a memorable comeback from injury.

The other faces were: Tasuku Honjo, an immunologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; Namie Amuro, a popular singer who retired in September; Haruo Obata, a “super volunteer” who found a missing child in Yamaguchi Prefecture; and Yusaku Maezawa, president of online fashion retailer Zozo Inc. who announced his plan to travel to the moon.

It was the company’s 33rd annual lineup.

The paddles will be on display at its main outlet in the capital’s Taito Ward through Dec. 7. They will be on show at department stores across the country through Feb. 17.