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 closer to being windsocks!
Since these are such a major part of Japanese kite culture I thought they still deserved a page on this site.
His and hers?
His and hers?
Being light-weight, open at one end and closed at the other is pretty close to being a wind-sock. Aviation windsocks are generally open at both ends, but taper down to a much smaller outlet size than the inlet.
Widely available online, some sets of these 'kites' are very glossy and vibrantly colorful. The color can fade after a while 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.
OK, it's not a 'fish', but why not attempt your very own creature kite...
Have a look at Making The MBK Octopus Kite if you would like to make and fly one yourself, from my e-book instructions. The e-book is a PDF file download, from which it's easy to get print-outs.
Somewhat appropriately, the best place to fly home-made sea-creature kites is down at a beach :-) Wait until there is an on-shore breeze, that is, when the wind is blowing across the sand from the water. The exact angle really doesn't matter.