Sunday, May 06, 2007

Happy Boys' Day!

Happy Boys' Day! (Actually it is May 6th in my part of the world but it is still May 5th in some parts and besides, I was posting pictures of flowers yesterday.)

I really like Boys' Day just because of the "Koinobori" the colorful carp that are flown around the countryside for a week or so before May 5th. Especially now that we live out in the country, we can see beautiful sets of carp fluttering over farmers' fields and they are so bright and cheerful! Of course a family needs a lot of space to fly the carp and most Japanese homes do not include garden space let alone enough of an area to fly a carp that is about twice as tall as a person. When Takumi was a baby I used to buy little plastic and nylon ones that a child can wave about and we would hang it up on the apartment veranda. We've never had real koinobori in our family. I think there is also a tradition of displaying replicas of samurai armor but what really sets the day are the carp. A koinobori is supposed to represent a carp swimming upstream against the current and the families fly them in hopes that the boys in the family will have strength and overcome difficulties in their life.

A few years ago I made a small Koinobori quilt to hang from the end of April through the first half of May. I really like it though it doesn't show the bright colors of the real Koinobori. The pattern was from a Japanese book (obviously) but I remember giving the book away not long after so I don't even know the book's name. It will stay up in my entryway for another week, my small acknowledgement of Boys' Day.


anne bebbington said...

Tanya - I love that quilt - always have loved stained glass work and it is very clever the way is seems to show the movement of the fish in the wind. It's fascinating blogging and hearing all about different customs and traditions around the world - thank you so much for sharing this with us

Fiona said...

Great quilt and interesting to hear of this tradition. I used similar windsocks on my allotment a couple of years ago to scare off the birds.

Nadine said...

Oh, Tanya, your blog is soooo interesting ! It's like visiting Japan through your eyes, and talent ! THANK YOU !
The carps, floating in the wind are marvellous, as well as your stained glass quilt !

Hugs & smiles,

keslyn said...

Reading your blog entries each day make me want to visit Japan again. I really do love spending time there.
Thank you for sharing your life with us.

QuiltingFitzy said...

I think the carp were never flown during my family's reign, I had 3 girls, lol.

I remember having large paper ones that my father had brought back from Japan many years ago, now long gone.

Thank you yet again for sharing your corner of the world. We have SO much to learn from you.

quiltpixie said...

what wonderful pics of the kites. I love your solution/interpretation for an entry way.

kazuyo said...


Luna said...

Hi Tanya, I like your Koinobori-Quilt. As I was a child my brother and me had a small Koinobori in red and blue in our room I think it was a Koinobori . In Germany we have a girlsday. But we have no boysday.Interesting to read about this.
I´m impressed about your flower post. The large wisteria is great. I plant a wisteria before two weeks but it is so small and there are no flowers only leaves. Maybe the flowers are coming in one ore two years :-(
Thank you for sharing all this interesting things!!!