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Japanese Life & Culture

100-Meter Carp Flying High Up in May Sky

By May 9, 2017 at 12:54 am


The Japanese celebrate Boys' Day on May 5 as they do Girls' Day on March 3. This year's Boys' Day is supposed to be a day to remember for the folks in Kazo, Saitama, as the local well-wishers hoisted a giant carp by the riverbed of Tone River to celebrate the day in advance. The cloth-made carp is 100 meters long weighing 330 kilos。

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Why carp of all fishes? Well, there is a legend to substantiate the tradition. Carp of all fishes is traditionally believed to be an active fish - active enough to swim up the falls. The Japanese rear boys in the image of carp, so to say, and new-born baby boys customarily receive cloth-made carp from their grandfathers.

On May 3, a mammoth crane raised the giant carp 100 meters high as large crowds watched with their fingers crossed. Kazo City in May is not always lucky to have strong enough winds to fly carp, but then this year it all went well - the carp caught an ideal air flow up there and "swam" beautifully high up in the sky.

The crowds enjoyed a 20-minute flight of the giant carp, taking pictures, cheering, stamping their feet in excitement. The father of a 2-year-old son remarked:

"We were wondering if the carp could catch a strong enough wind up there, but were glad it made it.

"I do hope my son will take after this carp and grow up just as big and strong."

It is amusing that the Japanese associate carp with growing boys - with carp of all active living creatures!. Well, this is another evidence of Japanese culture being abreast with Nature. Carp is a symbol of buoyancy, eagerness, and agility as Mother Nature presents as living evidence. (Nathan Shiga)

Source: NHK

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