Saturday, 13 April 2013

Children's Day

Do you remember Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival or Girls' Day which is celebrated on March 3rd? I blogged about it here.

Well it is now time to prepare for Children's Day, formerly called Boys' Day, or in Japanese Kodomo-no-Hi or Tango-no-Sekku. For indepth details you can read this article.

The actual day is May 5th but just like Hina Matsuri, you decorate the home from about a month beforehand. So it was time to take out my wall hanging of flying carps:

I made this many years ago using whatever I had available so there is a mismatch of material. It depicts a streamer at the top, then Daddy Carp, Mummy Carp and Baby Carp.




In the countryside huge streamers are hung near farmhouses (these are at Shimoda, in Kyushu) or across rivers, but in the city smaller ones are displayed from balconies.
Carps are strong fish and symbolize the fighting spirit parents want their children (sons) to have to overcome any problem in life.

There are other symbols of strength and courage used for decorations. The most famous is the samurai armor, and some of these 'dolls' take up a lot of space in homes, (and make a big dent in the grandparents' bank account!):





























Is there anyone out there who's interested in braids and cords?  Feast your eyes on the details.






























Well if you can't find space, or money,  for something like this, why not make a small helmet yourself? This one can sit in my palm.
I got the pattern from a friend and made it from chirimen and kimono scraps. The golden 'braid' is a thin string from a box of sweets. Three cheers for recycling!


Someone gave me this little doll, also made of chirimen, of Kintaro. Note his helmet made of folded paper (origami).


15 comments:

  1. Thank you so much,Queenie, for sharing your knowledge about Japanese culture! I admire all the hand made details! As always very interesting to visit your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Claudia! It is always nice to write when you get comments like yours!

      Delete
  2. I remember reading about this in one of my origami books. Looks like a lot ot fun to decorate. Love the little doll!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The really good thing with origami is that you can take any piece of square scrap paper and turn it into a nice toy or decorative piece of art. I am a fan of recycling so I often 'play' with paper before it goes into the shredder.

      Delete
  3. The samurai armor doll looks quite complicated. I had to look very carefully to find his face. How large is this doll?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is not a doll, only the armor. What looks like his face is a metal mask (with a mustasch made of fur) that the samurai had to protect their faces from sword cuts, and to frighten the opponents.
      The armor is displayed in a 'sitting position' and measures about 90 cm from the floor to the 'horns' on the helmet.

      Delete
    2. There are some pictures here that are clearer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_armour

      Delete
  4. I love all your photos, especailly your wall hanging and the story behind the carp symbol. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was given lots of scrap fabric from a dressmaker specialising in party frocks (the green and red polyester). Then I had this grey hair canvas interfacing!!! for the 'sky', kimono scraps for Mummy and Daddy Carp, craft chirimen for the Baby Carp, a bit of black velvet for an eye, sequins and beads rescued from the party frock remnants...

      Delete
  5. The mismatch of the carp wall hanging is what makes it so charming! And what a samurai helmet - fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the helmet is smart, but I feel a bit pity for the Carp family; imagine being made of vintage kimono silk and having to swim in a sky of hair canvas framed by horrible polyester!!! (For details see my answer to the comment above yours).

      Delete
  6. It's been a long time since I dug out our decorations. #2 grandson has a May birthday and I put all kinds of tenugui for the holiday on the reverse side of his baby quilt. I guess it is time to hunt up my table runners. I once saw a big Koi-nobori stuffed and used for a long pillow on a kid's bed. All your items are so cute.

    ReplyDelete
  7. There are so many ways to pray for the health and growth of children. Who wouldn't want to have a quilt with Grandmother's love and carps on the back, nearest one's body? Or a Koi-nobori pillow, I like that idea.
    In many households the decorations are taken out each year long after the children have left home.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Coming from gardening - digging, planting---- drinking my coffee and again a wonderful post to read - a bit late. (4:30 pm)

    ReplyDelete
  9. More wonderful insights Queenie, thanks so much for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for dropping by and adding a comment.


Says Google: European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent.

As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies.