Koi Nobori | Carp stream to celebrate growth of children in Japan, Guided by Japanese webmaster !

This page is about ….

  • What is ‘Koi Nobori’ in Japan
  • History of ‘Koi Nobori’ in Japan
  • Color of ‘Koi Nobori’
  • Brief comments by webmaster

This page is to help the people :

  • Who like Japan !
  • Who are interested in Japanese culture
  • Who want to enjoy staying in Japan !

In this page, I would like to introduce ‘Koi Nobori’ in Japan

You may get knowledge of ‘Koi Nobori’ in Japan, as well as Japanese have, after reading of this article. Have fun !


SHINTA+ / Japanese blog writer, born and raised in Japan, visited more than 20 countries, introducing Japanese culture to the world, with both domestic & international experiences.

What is ‘Koi Nobori’

‘Koi-Nobori’ is a traditional item to celebrate growth of children, especially for boys, on 5th.May. ‘Koi’ means ‘carp’ and ‘Nobori’ means ‘streamer’ and ‘climbing’. ‘Koi-Nobori’ is for the people who pray children’s growth with strength like a carp climbing waterfall.

Basic knowledge of ‘Koi Nobori’

  • To celebrate growth of children
  • Hang on around children day, 5th. May
  • Shape is like a carp
  • Carp is a symbol of strength of life

I will display ‘Koi Nobori’ for my sons in May.

History of ‘Koi Nobori’

It’s not clear when the custom of’Koi-Nobori’ was started. In 17th century as beginning of Edo era, streamer was hanging in front of Samurai house on the day of ‘Tango no Sekku’, as origin of children’s day, to celebrate growth of children.

History of ‘Koi Nobori’

  • Custom started in 17th century
  • Origin is in Samurai society
  • Initially, custom was spread to Edo, old Tokyo area
  • In 19-20th century, spread to all over Japan

‘Koi Nobori’ is traditional events in Japan with history of hundreds of years !

Colors of ‘Koi Nobori’

We can see ‘Koi-Nobori’ from end of April to beginning of May. This item is mainly for kids. Children make it in handwork in kindergarten in this season. It’s commonly said that each color have a meaning. Black one shows father, red one is mother, blue and green are boys, other warm colors are girls.

More information about Koi Nobori

  • Colors of Koi Nobori
    • Black : Father Koi Nobori
    • Red : Mother Koi Nobori
    • Blue, Green: Boy Koi Nobori
    • Warm color: Girl Koi Nobori

We can see colorful ‘Koi Nobori’ in the sky in May !


In the end, I would like to summarize the points of this article as follows

What is ‘Koi Nobori’ in Japan

  • The item to celebrate growth of boys
  • Custom started in 17th century
  • Displayed in beginning of May, until 5th. May


That’s all today.
How was the content today ?

Japanese are very familiar with this item. Actually, when I was a child, my parents hang it up in May. And now, I display it for my sons, in May. It might be that my sons will place it for their kids someday. It’s very traditional item in Japanese life.


In the end, thank you very much for your reading today and see you again !