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.




When the weather's good and you have the time, it's great to get out with a kite or 3. But what about on bad weather days? Then it's time to pull out...

"Kites Up!" - my downloadable kite-flying board game! Apart from towing indoor kites, doing a spot of imaginary flying is the next best thing :-)



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!



 


As mentioned earlier, there's another alternative to towing indoor kites if it's just not possible to fly outdoors...

"Kites Up!" is my downloadable board game. It's a PDF file which has all the documentation for the game plus images for all the components. Tokens, cards, the board itself and so on. Anyway, just click that link to see more info :-)


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