Rokkaku Kites

Reliable, High Flying Without Tails!

Rokkaku kites are dependable, steep fliers and tail-less. Here's a few we have seen over the years, with comments.

All Roks have one vertical spar and two horizontal spars, forming a six-sided figure when covered with sail material.

Traditionally, the horizontal spars are bowed, with a bow-string from tip to tip holding the curvature. Some modern Rokkakus though use stiffer materials like carbon fiber, where it's more practical to use a fitting to hold the spars at a dihedral angle.

A simple Rok, as they are known, isn't much harder to make than an Eddy Diamond. There's just that extra horizontal piece and 2 more edges to the sail shape.

We've been to a few kite festivals over the years and taken plenty of photos. There's some Rokkaku pictures among them, so see below for a few large and elaborately decorated examples.




In theory, a single-point bridle could work, but most Roks have at least 4-point bridles to keep them steady in the air. Like our Dowel Rokkaku design.

However, I have experimented with 3-point bridles too. These work fine for smaller designs, with 2 attachment points on the upper horizontal spar and the remaining one near the middle of the vertical spar.



Rokkaku Kites Seen At Festivals

Here's 6 Rokkakus, each with a unique decorative design on the sail. Firstly, 3 Roks with face designs from Japan. Yep, the 'real deal'. We saw these being flown by men in traditional kite-flying garb. Next comes a modern design, another traditional but non-face design and finally an ad for a local kite shop!

Rokkaku Kites - decorated with stern Asian face in sepia color schemeFearsome traditional Rok

This stern Sumarai looks like he is about to lop your head off with a sharp sword... At least, that was my first impression. It might actually be a Japanese deity or something else entirely! Anyway, it's a traditionally decorated Japanese Rokkaku.



Rokkaku Kites - featuring Japanese character with white noseAnother Rok face (har har)

What is it with the white noses? Another striking face on a Rok kite.



Rokkaku Kites - distinctly Asian design on this one.Brushwork?

Distinctly Asian in form and color, the painting on this large Rok really stood out against the pale blue sky. Nice one!


Rokkaku Kites - decorated with fearsome toothy characterAnd another

For reasons known only to the Japanese, this fearsome toothy character has powdered his nose completely white... Another traditional Rokkaku.



Rokkaku Kites - great 3D geometric pattern.Geometric decoration

I really like this design. A simple, but highly effective 3D graphic in bold colors. Perfect!



Rokkaku Kites - seen at a festival, advertising a local kite shopRoks make good bill-boards

So it was advertising a local kite shop... What the heck, it's a very nice Rok!



There's our Dowel Rokkaku in flight, in the video above...

That's about it for this page on Rokkakus. Hope you enjoyed the pics!



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