Japan Kindergarten Koinobori Carp Streamers

Oak leaves, iris root, peach boy, golden child and giant fish flying high in the sky…these are just some of the more significant images traditionally associated with boys in Japan during the May 5th celebration of Boy’s Day. Called Tango no Sekku in Japanese and meaning “First Day of the Horse”, this special day has for centuries been a time to honor, celebrate and instruct young boys in the manly responsibilities they are expected to assume when grown. With the samurai warrior as their model, boys in Japan are taught to be strong, honest and willing to overcome any obstacle or evil in the course of fulfilling their duty. To this end, icons of courage, leadership and service are used by families and communities to make clear to young boys their role and function in society. Like the March 3rd celebration of Girl’s Day, when beautiful dolls of the imperial court are arranged and displayed in the family home, similar arrangements are also put on display for Tango no Sekku. However, Boy’s Day displays have a decidedly masculine feel, with popular dolls being figures representing traditional male heroes such as Kintaro (golden boy), a legendary Japanese youth of incredible strength; or Momotaro (peach boy), the perfect son and defender of the weak. Additional dolls are sometimes displayed which represent historic figures from Japanese and even Chinese military history. Small suits of armor with assorted weapons are also very popular and complete displays can be purchased at

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