Koinobori streamers ready to begin to fly everywhere

Koinobori fly in Peace Memorial Park in Mabuni, Itoman.

With Golden Week just around the corner, the signals are clear that the colorful Koinobori, or Carp Streamers, are ready to fly at various locations throughout the island. And they are, with the colorful week kicking off this Saturday, the streamers flying in the Okinawa breeze until Monday, May 6. The hoisted carp streamers will swim in the sky to wish the health to the children who bear the future.

Nakijin Koinobori Festival is held on a field behind Nakijin Station “Soure”, an excellent place for a family picnic.

In Itoman, ceremonies start at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Peace Prayer Park Ceremony Space at the Mabuni. Entrance. The event is free to attend for all.

Additional peace ceremonies take place across Okinawa at War Memorials starting at 11 a.m. on the 27th.  Ceremonies will be held in Mabuni, Komesu and Maesato in Itoman, at Gushigami in Yaese, and at Kakazu in Ginowan City.

The events take place every year, looking back upon the past of Okinawa, and sending important messages of peace to the world.

After the ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park, there will be distribution of free tickets to Peace Prayer Scientific Library and Peace Prayer Hall, where the old battlefield around the park circumference is chronicled.

Itoman festival features a free koinobori making class.

Besides flying koinobori, various children’s groups provide entertainment in the Itoman event.

A free carp streamer making class, and a kite making class for a fee, is held at the ceremony open space. This is a good opportunity for a family with children to experience Japanese culture.

The 6th Carp Streamers Festival in Nakijin Village will open at 2 p.m. Saturday on the turf behind Nakijin Station “Sore”, in Tamagusuku Nakijin Village.

Admission is free for the all-day events Saturday through Monday, May 6th.

About 200 carp streamers are due to be raised with the festival. Since the venue is a lawn, visitors play and enjoy a picnic, spending a pleasant time. Visitors are encouraged to bring mats to sit or lie on.

Public Children’s Day koinobori are also flying over Hija river starting Sunday with a festival from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Mizugama, Kadena. In Oku in the northernmost corner of Okinawa main island, Yanbaru Carp Streamer Festival is held from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5.

The 18th Haneji Dam Koinobori Festival is held on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5 at Kawakami, Haneji, in Nago City, and Uchima Handmade Koinobori Festival takes place at Uchima West Park in Urasoe on Thursday, May 2 & Friday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

Koinobori, meaning “carp streamer”, are carp-shaped wind socks traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate Tango no Sekku, a traditional calendar event, which is now designated a national holiday; Children’s Day, May 5. These windsocks are made by drawing carp patterns on paper, cloth or other non-woven fabric. They are then allowed to flutter in the wind. They are also known as “satsuki-nobori.”

Landscapes across Japan are decorated with koinobori from the end of April to early May, originally in honor of sons, and in the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong. A typical koinobori set consists of, from the top of the pole down, a pair of arrow-spoked wheels with a ball-shaped spinning vane, flying-dragon streamer that looks like a windsock, a black koinobori and a red koinobori. If more boys are in the household, an additional blue, green and then, depending on the region, either purple or orange koinobori are added. The red koinobori’s color can be varied as pink. These carp sets are flown above the roofs of houses with sons, with the biggest black koinobori for the father, next biggest red for the mother, and ranging down to the smallest carp for the youngest son.

These koinobori range from a few inches long to a few meters long. In 1988, the 100 m long koinobori weighing 350 kg was made in Kazo, Saitama.