May 6, 2010
Another Children's Day tradition is the 'Koinobori (鯉のぼり),' which translates to carp kite.
A carp kite usually has a couple of colorful cloth carps strung onto a long bar that is decorated out a window. This is a tradition that started sometime in the Edo Era. It is based on a legend in China, where a carp swam up a river against strong currents and became a dragon. So like the carp in the legend, the people started this tradition in hopes that their children to be healthy and grow up to prosper.
The miniature Koinobori in the photos were taken at Midoricho Chuo Park in Shin Tokorozawa. There were over 300 of the little carps above the side path.
The little kids were singing a traditional Koinobori song while they walked along the path. So lyrics start out with 'Yane yori takai, Koinobori! (屋根より高い鯉のぼり)' which translates to something like, 'Carp Kites, higher than the rooftops.'
You can hear the whole song here:
I don't know if these Koinobori were higher than the rooftops, but they were great to look at, softly swimming with the wind!