top of page
  • Hello Hiroo Team


After all the hard times we went through in April, the day that all the kids have been waiting for is approaching; Children’s Day. Because of this, we will see some “koinobori” almost everywhere at the beginning of May. But what exactly is it? What do they stand for? According to a dictionary, it is 'carp-streamer kite', and the carp was chosen as the symbol of Children's Day because the Japanese consider it the most spirited fish, full of energy and power to fight its way up rapidly-flowing streams. The origin dates back to the Edo period(1603-1868), when there was a customary practice among warriors, so-called “samurai”, to pray for their children’s health and proper growth by decorating their weapons that have been passed down from generation to generation. Rich merchants with no weapons to decorate with, believing a Chinese proverb that “carps become dragons after leaping a waterfall”, started hanging carp-shaped kites instead and this habit has been spread throughout people and long inherited later on.

The picture below shows the typical set up of a carp streamer. The top streamer will often have a symbolic family crest to show the unity of the family. The black carp represents the father. Traditionally, the second reddish orange carp represents the eldest son, but as the holiday was turned into “children’s day” from “boy’s day”, the second carp came to represent the mother instead. The carp below that represents the children of the family. These streamers were traditionally large with some measuring a few meters, but this has changed due to urbanization and families not having enough space to set up these large streamers. There are also apartments that ban the decoration of carp streamers on balconies. Therefore, smaller carp streamers that can be placed indoors have risen in popularuty!

Nowadays, sadly, this “koinobori” tradition is disappearing little by little, especially in cities. It is sometimes sold in a toy-corner in supermarkets or on an online shopping website. If you are interested, please have a look!!





bottom of page