Children’s day and Origin of Carp streamer

Published by Hiromi Nishiwaki on

May 5th is Children's day in Japan.

On Children's day, we put Carp steamer.


This custom comes from Ancient China 's story. According to the story, It was said there was a large waterfall called "Ryumon" (竜門) in the back of the mountain in China, and the fish that climbed the waterfall successfully became dragons and acceded to the sky.


Many fishes Dreamed to be a dragon and challenged the waterfall but many failed. Under the circumstances, one Carp climbed the Ryumon successfully and became a dragon and ascended to and danced in the sky.


From this history, the carp dancing in the sky become a symbol of a success. and Samurai Family had used extensively as a symbol of prosperity. 





Carp Swimming by Water Weeds

Carp Swimming by Water Weeds /Katsushika Hokusai /1831

This story reminds me Hokusai's Dragon. His last work.
It is our common understanding in Japan that a brave and strong spirit which win one's challenge becomes ascending dragon.


The Dragon of Smoke Escaping From Mount Fuji, 1849 by Hokusai
富士越龍図 嘉永2年

I believe Dragon is human's True Spirit.


We have many cultural works regarding Dragon.



It is very interesting that in Europe, Dragon is considered as evil presence, instead, in Japan, Dragon is symbol of bravery and strength, spiritually positive symbol. It is depicted at ceiling of many Zen Buddhist Temples.


Twin Dragons Kenninji-Temple /Koizumi Junsaku 


On this day, I wish Children's happiness, health and prosperity.





Hiromi Nishiwaki

Office Flora "JAPANOPHILE " Promotion was founded as a Japanese culture Research firm in 2017. We provide exciting information on Japanese Art and Culture and offer intellectual excitements though the prism of Hiromi Nishiwaki. We provide deep insights about Japanese traditional culture and Art from a Western perspective while keeping the core concepts from the Japanese Spiritual and traditional values intact. Our mission is to contribute to world happiness and prosperity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.