Koinobori,the Carp Streamers and Agricultural Trainees

May 17th, 2009 by
Category: Events, Miscellaneous, Seasonal Topics
carps swimming in the wind
carps swimming in the wind

As there have been  entries in this blog site about the girls’day,Hinamathsuri,another one,it might be only fair to introduce the boys’day,too.

Now, the Children’s Day is (“was”actually,for this year the day has passed)on 5th May amid the so-called Golden Week.
On this day people have celebrated the happy growth of  the boys in their households.
In our village the season is from 5th May to 5th June.
A Chinese legend says that one carp,among those gathered at the bottom of a waterfall , succeeded in swimming up the flow.
Thus, to hope for a successful life of the boy in the family, people put out the carp streamers outside their home. 
So if you see the Koinoboris swimming outside a house, you can say the family has a boy/boys of age about up to the end of elementary school or so.
Koinoboris this big are something that country people can  boast to urban people.
I mean, you can surely see Koinoboris swimming in the Tokyo sky if you visit there around the Golden Week, but they are much more smaller compared to our huge ones.
trainees from Jilin,China

trainees from Jilin,China

My own son is now 19 years old ,and we have stopped putting out his streamers long since.
But I had a perfect pair to make my children’s day photo this year; our Chinese sons.
We have been accepting the so-called,”agricultural trainees” from Jilin,China every farming season for 4 years now.
They are my sons,because they call me “Oka-san”, which means mother,
and because they help me on the farm like they really care to farm.( They are from farming families.)
When it was the first year for us to have the trainees 4 years ago, I was so fascinated by the diligent boys
that a friend of mine  labeled me ” an empty nester”, who was filling her empty nest with the boys.
And it turned out to be true! Except that I was doubly empty-nested when they went back to China in Autumn.
Every year different trainees come, and this year it seems the boys are as good boys as the first year, and I am looking forward to working with them through the season.

2 Responses to “Koinobori,the Carp Streamers and Agricultural Trainees

  1. Mariko-san,

    I think the size of the carp streamers also depends on how proud of his sons the father is. As you can probably guess, our sons have some pretty big streamers!

  2. Tyler san,
    I bet! And now I am wondering what to make use of my son’s HUGE no-more putting out streamers and flag; maybe I will make many sheets of futon out of them.

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