top of page

Q. Why do you see so many houses displaying carp streamers in the spring?


A. Carp streamers are an ancient tradition in Japan. They originated more than a thousand years ago, and at first, they were just simple poles which people hoped would attract gods who would come down and protect newborn children. Later, people began to decorate the poles with streamers, and during the feudal period, samurai families started putting up streamers and flags with their family crests when a boy was born.

A. 鯉のぼりは日本の古い伝統です。起源は1000年以上遡ります。最初は、神様の注意を引き、新しく生まれた赤ちゃんを守ってくれるように願いをこめて竿だけを立てましたが、その後、人々は吹流しで竿を飾り、封建時代に、武家では男の子が生まれると吹流しと家紋付の旗を立てるようになりました。

Carp streamers first appeared during the Edo Period (1603-1867). The carp is an ancient Chinese symbol of virility and power, and merchant families began displaying them as a lucky charm so that their sons would grow up to be healthy and strong. Most families use one banner for each male child, and the oldest boy gets a special one that is larger than the others.


Many Westerners are surprised to hear that the carp is a symbol of virility and strength because, except for sharks, most North Americans and Europeans don't think of fish as anything but food. There are lots of sports teams named after bears, tigers, and lions, but many foreigners are surprised to hear that Hiroshima has a team named after a fish!


The carp is a symbol of luck in Japan, but when Westerners think of animals that bring good fortune, they usually think of rabbits. Sometimes you will see foreigners carrying a rabbit's foot, a furry good luck piece that is attached to a key chain. This belief started among African Americans who believed that the left hind foot of a rabbit would bring them luck because rabbits have many babies.



Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page