Throughout April and early May, I noticed hundreds of giant fish shaped kites popping up all over Japan. They were really beautiful as they were fluttering in the wind, all colorful and intriguing. What was their meaning, why were they displayed in different parts of the cities, from public places like museums or construction sites to Japanese homes?
Well, it turns out that they are called koinobori and they mark Children’s Day, on May 5. In Japan this day used to be known as Boys’ Day, up until 1948, when they decided it would celebrate the happiness of all children.
The carps symbolize strength and courage and there’s one for every member of the family: the black one is the father, the red carp is the mother and there’s one baby fish for every child in the family. A personal fish for everyone.