Friday, May 6, 2016

Foreign Friday

Boy's Day - Koinobori
May 1980
near Misawa, Japan 
I was fortunate to snap a photo of the traditional koinobori (carp) flying outside of this business. I purchased a used black carp - about seven feet long, and a red carp - about five feet long and used them for bulletin boards. Several years ago, I parted with them at a yard sale.

On May 5th, typically Boys' Day, families raise the carp-shaped koinobori flags (carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon, and the way the flags blow in the wind looks like they are swimming), with one black carp for the father, one red carp for the mother, and one blue carp for each child (traditionally each son). Wikipedia

Girls' Day is in March, and to celebrate, families display all manner of dolls in their homes, many passed down from generation to generation.


7 comments:

  1. That's a very interesting tradition.

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  2. How interesting. I never knew why the carp was an important symbol.

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  3. I never knew this!! now I like carp. Usually I do not!

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  4. I learned so much in this one post!

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  5. We had one or two of those kite fishes growing up but I don't remember learning they were for boy or girl day. Hum, I wonder what happened to it? Maybe in the antique desk I have from my parents....

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