Kite Contest on a South Pacific Island

by Doug McLean
(Conover, NC, USA)

I have not thought about making kites in a long time. I have an addition. When I was 8 years old (1959) I was living in Okinawa, which is in a chain of islands south of Japan. People in the Orient take kite construction and flying kites very serious.

I was in Boy Scouts. Once a year we would have a kite contest for construction and flying. One year I made a kite that was a 5"x3" diamond shape. I used balsa wood, onion paper and thread in the construction. The tail was thread and every 2 or 3 inches was a 1 1/2" cloth bow. I used thread as string. It flew really good, about 100 ft high before the string got too heavy to go any higher. I won smallest kite and smallest kite to fly. It was so much fun and winning was great. Sorry I do not have any pictures.

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