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About this Workshop

Description

In this workshop, the learners will make a Koinobori, a Japanese carp windsock, in honor of Children’s Day. In the Japanese culture, the carp symbolizes courage and strength because of its ability to swim up waterfalls. We’ll use references, like pictures and drawings, before making the Koinobori. Then, we’ll use our imaginations to choose the shapes, the colors (to paint or stamp the scales) and to build the structures for the windsocks.

Koinobori literally means “carp streamers”.  On Children's Day, the Japanese people practice hoisting paper or fabric carp on bamboo poles. The families arrange the Koinobori vertically, representing each member of the family, in front of their homes. Sometimes, the Koinobori are lined up horizontally on famous streets or in parks during the Children’s Day festivals.  

The Koinobori represents one of the main commemorative dates in Japan, celebrated on May 5, which is part of Golden Week. Golden Week is the junction of four national holidays in late April/early May, combined with some weekends, it becomes one of the people's favorite dates, causing much excitement in the cities. In my second year in Japan, I went to the Children’s Day festival in Kawagoe, a small Edo area in Saitama prefecture, and I saw several horizontal Koinobori. The wind makes them seem to swim in the sky! It was really beautiful.

I made my first Koinobori during my first summer in Japan, when I attended a workshop at a camp.  I really enjoyed it! The kids who also attended the workshop were very excited about the project. The workshop instructor taught me one way of making Koinobori, using paper, then I learned other ways to make them on the internet, using fabric.  I hope to meet you and teach you how to make a Koinobori!

What You'll Need

GLOkit What's a GLOkit?

glokit

Japanese Koinobori GLOkit

This GLOkit contains: one pillowcase, paint (red, yellow and blue), a paintbrush, one brown stick of pastel, string and two prints of fish scales.

GLOkit Included

Additional Supplies

Learners will also need:

  • Cardboard (a cereal box is great)
  • Stapler
  • Glue (fabric glue is ideal, any glue will work)
  • Scissors (to cut the pillowcase)
  • Hair dryer
  • Wet and Dry paper towels
  • Cup of water
  • Spray bottle

Technical Requirements

You will need a device (computer or tablet) that is equipped with a camera, microphone, and speakers. For more information, please check out our Technical Requirements page.

Meet the Instructor

instructor headshot

Rebecca NittaView Profile

Hello! My name is Rebecca. I'm a Brazilian artist with Japanese descent and am currently living in Tokyo.  I love movies, especially animations. I feel like I'm part of my favorite animations, and I use them as inspiration to create a new world through my watercolor paintings. I also draw comics about my life in Tokyo. I have plans to publish my first graphic novel soon!

I started crafting when I was 6 years old, making origami.  Origami is the art of paper folding. I learned how to make it from my mother, to encourage my patience. My parents always supported me to make arts, because of that, my creativity was stimulated from an early age. I graduated with a degree in visual arts and realized how important cultural background is in learning in general. If weren't my parents encouraging me, I wouldn't have created in my childhood. I see many kids being pruned from their ability to create even nowadays. I'd like to be a reference for the next generations, like my parents were for me. We all have the right to create and gain cultural knowledge!

In my country (Brazil) we have a huge range of regional crafts. I grew up going with my family to Olinda, a town in the northeast of Brazil. In Olinda, there is a carnival with a parade of giant puppets made of styrofoam, latex and fabric. Several craftsmen work on the puppets every year. Some of them for over 40 years! The puppets stand about 10 feet tall and weigh as much as 60 pounds. I always have a lot of fun when I join this carnival party.

Nowadays, my favorite mediums to use in my own art are watercolor and Ink. I like to use ink inspired by the Sumie-painting, a traditional Japanese calligraphy. I like the organization, patience and dedication of Japanese people. Everything works well when you have these qualities.

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NOTE: You can choose any available date on the calendar and rest assured that your GLOkit(s) WILL arrive before your workshop time! We only display dates/times that allow time to ship.

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workshop poster

Japanese Koinobori