Koinobori (Carp-shaped Windsocks) by dosankodebbie

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Koinobori (Carp-shaped Windsocks) by 

May 5 is one of the “seasonal divisions” that we celebrate during the year in Japan. We call this day Kodomo-no-Hi (Children’s Day), the day on which we express our hope that our children will grow up physically strong and courageous against adversity. One of our customs is to run huge carp-shaped windsocks called koi-nobori up a flagpole set up outside specifically for that purpose.

Sometimes villages will stretch a rope across a stream or between two buildings and hang enough koi-nobori to represent the whole community. It’s an amazing sight when the wind blows, making the koi-nobori appear as though they are swimming vigorously against an imaginary river current and leaping over imaginary rapids.

The Japanese words accompanying the image say “we are all connected.”

This etegami was painted across two washi cards. Etegami is a traditional Japanese folk art that combines thoughtful words with simple images painted on washi paper.


etegami, japan, folkart, children, festival, carp, wind, swim, strength, courage, may, windsocks, fish, flagpole

I am a professional Japanese-to-English translator and an Etegami artist. Etegami is a traditional Japanese folk art that combines thoughtful words with simple images painted on washi paper.

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  • hollyann
    hollyannabout 3 years ago

    so wonderful!!

  • Thank you!

    – dosankodebbie

  • Sally Griffin
    Sally Griffinabout 3 years ago

    AAAhhhh love it, D!!!! Bright and lively!
    “we are all connected”….so thoughtful.

  • I was taught to use no more than three colors per etegami, but this one cried out to be colorful.

    – dosankodebbie

  • Diane Hall
    Diane Hallabout 3 years ago

    Wonderful work and such a lovely tradition. Thank you for sharing this, it must be quite a sight to see all the colorful windsocks blowing in the wind.

  • Oh, it is a beautiful sight, especially against a blue sky. I hope you can see it some day.

    – dosankodebbie

  • carol brandt
    carol brandtabout 3 years ago

    fabulous artwork in your distinctive style debbie

  • Brian Pelkey
    Brian Pelkeyabout 3 years ago

    Love your style!

  • IzzyGumbo
    IzzyGumboabout 3 years ago

    this is wonderful, thank you for sharing :)

  • Adriano Carrideo
    Adriano Carrideoabout 3 years ago

    Love your work :)

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