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Koinobori wind socks are made by drawing carp patterns on paper, cloth or other nonwoven fabric. They are then allowed to flutter in the wind.
Koinobori, meaning “carp streamer” in Japanese, are carp-shaped windsocks traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate Children’s Day.
Children’s Day takes place on May 5, the last day of Golden Week, the largest break for workers and also a week in which businesses usually close for up to 9–10 days. Landscapes across Japan are decorated with koinobori from April to early May, in honor of children for a good future and in the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong.
Koinobori are commonly flown above the roofs of houses with children, with the biggest (black) koinobori for the father, next biggest (red or pink) for the mother, and an additional, smaller carp of a different color for each child in decreasing order by age.
Borrow ‘All About Japan’ for songs, stories, crafts and more
Music and Movement:
A popular Koinobori song is sung in Japan and translates to;
Higher than the roof-tops are the koinobori
The large carp is the father
The smaller carp are the children
They seem to be having fun swimming.
Books/ Story time:
Art & Craft:
- Create your own windsocks to hang in your outdoor environment
- Draw or colour each child’s family with with the traditional colours of the windsocks (black for father, red for mother, different colours for each child)
- Hang mobiles outdoors in an area with cushions and other soft furnishings, where children can watch the movement of the koinobori in the wind
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The research for this resource was made possible through a grant from the Central Coast Council.