Koinobori, literally "koi= carp" and "nobori= banner" are a colorful sight throughout Japan in April and May.
The seasonal festival (sekku) in May was originally an event for driving out evil spirits in China, which came to Japan in the Heian Period (794-1192). Since the Edo Period (1603-1867) this festival was consciously contrasted to the girls (hina matsuri) festival on March 3 and so May 5 in Japan has become "the boys' festival. People celebrate their children's birth and pray for their healthy growth by putting up carp-shaped banners in their gardens, roofs and balconies.
Streamers were also flown by samurai in battle and are therefore associated with courage, strength and masculinity.
Our all-nylon koinobori are made in Aichi Prefecture, can be hand-washed and feature new designs by famous artist Taro Okamoto, who is known as "Japan's Picasso".
Monday, July 11, 2005
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