Japanese Fish Kites
But popular anyway. For many years, maybe decades, people around the world have known about
Japanese Fish Kites. However, strictly speaking, these brightly colored
shimmering tubes are windsocks!
His and hers?
Being light-weight, open at one end and closed at the other pretty much defines a wind-sock.
Since these are such a major part of Japanese kite culture I thought they still deserved a page on this site.
This set of Japanese Cotton Carp Wind Socks
on Amazon got mixed reviews - but it all depends on how you treat them and how long they spend in the sun!
In Japan, May 5th each year is a time of celebration for
children. Funnily enough it’s called Children’s Day!
It used to be for
boys only, but Japan has moved with the times so that both boys and
girls can enjoy the day now.
On this day, fish kites and streamers are hung from bamboo poles
outside people's homes, representing the male occupants. In fact, this
goes for poles everywhere around the country, and even from the
occasional car aerial! As the wind blows into the mouth of the windsock,
the kite wriggles around giving the impression of a fish swimming
Traditionally, it is the fresh water Carp that is depicted by
the kites. The upstream struggle of the fish represented the passage of a
boy through to manhood. According to legend, when the carp reached the
river source, it became a dragon.
Hence these creations are also known widely as Carp Kites. For the sake of correctness, let's call them Carp Windsocks!
The great photo below shows some pristine and very glossy looking Fish Kites, err sorry, Carp Windsocks. The traditional colors of red and blue are also present, on the far right.
E-book special of the month (25% off)...
e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 120cm (4 ft) tall
Parafoil kite. This 4-cell kite performs best in gentle to moderate
wind speeds. That's 12 to 28kph or 8 to 18mph. Even in light
winds, this kite will hang in the air, although at low line angles.
In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids
should only fly it while supervised!
Every kite design in
the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...
- Materials are
plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
- Tools are a ruler,
scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
- All cuts are
along straight lines.
For the greatest chance
of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For
example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line
type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough,
since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small
differences from my original.
Get the e-book for making the MBK Parafoil kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.
The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.
May 17, 17 12:35 AM
It was down to the beach today to fly in solid Moderate winds from the north...
At last - a chance to push the Octopus harder! Initially the breeze was a bit soft - handy for unfurling and launching th…
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