Main content starts here.
Today, I’ll tell you about a Japanese Tradition in May. Is it OK with me to write something not about Shizuoka? Yes, because it is really important for me to promote your understanding of Japan before helping you enjoy Shizuoka.
Now, have you ever seen or heard of Flying Carps? In Japan we say “Koinobori” with the image of carps jumping over falls and to upper streams.
We celebrate May 5th as Children’s Day. Remember once I talked about “Golden Week”? Children’s Day is one of the day consisting of Golden Week, to celebrate their boys to grow up healthy and vigorously. Yes, I said “Boys”. So what about girls? Another day is prepared for girls’ celebration but I’ll explain some other time.
But why carps? In Japan, we consider red sea breams as the most auspicious fish.
From here, my studies and ideas:
In ancient China, there was a “Dragon-Gate” in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, which was a narrow point between crags, and it was considered, for its unstoppable torrent, no fish could ascend through this gate. But one day, only a single carp could reach to the Dragon-Gate and passed through it. The carp is said to have been allowed to become a dragon. As you know, the dragon is believed as a symbol of the Emperor in China and we have much influence in culture from China.
Now, you see the reason why carps have been picked up as a fish for boys.
You can find Koinobori all around Japan from after the mid-April. It was originally a single black carp for the boy, but nowadays they fly several carps showing basically black for the father, red for the mother, blue for the boy and a pink for the girl.
It is always fun and sometimes mysterious to know other country’s culture and tradition.
Don’t miss the next article!
“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English website for sightseeing, always with you! ^^