My Oriental Garden goes life!

We are proud to announce our webstie is up and running. This website will be our online source for real life Japanese garden oriented products like Japanese bridges, Japanese patios, prefabricated Japanese buildings and Japanese decorations for the Japanese Garden.


Thursday, 21 August 2008

Introducing: Koinobori!

We've had them around the Ichiba for a little while, but we'd like to draw your attention to the wonderful fish banners flying outside the giant Pagoda at the back of the market.

Koinobori (literally: carp-banner) are carp-shaped wind socks, usually made of paper or cloth.

Their origins go back to the streamers that were used by Samurai warriors on the battlefield, painted in various colours and shapes, some with carp pictures on them. They became "carp streamers" at the beginning of the modern age.

In more modern times, they are traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate Children's Day (Kodomo no hi), which is on the fifth day of the fifth month, part of the Golden Week (Ōgata renkyū). The carp's courage and strength is something that is desired in boys, so families traditionally fly these from their homes to honour their sons.

Yane yori takai koi-nobori
Ōki magoi wa o-tō-san
Chiisa higoi wa kodomo-tachi
Omoshiro sou ni oyoideru

Higher than the roof-tops are the koinobori
The large Black Carp is the father
The smaller Golden Carp are the children
They seem to be having fun swimming.

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