OBACHAN'S SCRIBBLES

Sunday, May 07, 2006

KOINOBORI SWIMMING IN THE RIVER

- May 4, 2006 -

Usually people in the food-service industry cannot take many days off during Golden Week; it is the busy time of the year for them, if not the busiest. Of course I had to work at the kaiseki place every night from May 1st to 5th, and I had bronchitis. So my Golden Week this year was almost going to be a totally eventless one. But when I accidentally found out about an event in a town called Ino-cho, which is not too far from where I live, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to go take a quick look.

Whenever this kind of idea comes to my mind, I just can’t stop. I packed my lunch (lemon chicken, avocado-tomato sandwiches and boiled potatoes) in a great hurry and spent all afternoon by the Niyodo river.

It was a 3-day event held to celebrate the Children’s Day, and carp-shaped streamers called koinobori were the center of attraction. As I wrote in my previous post, Ino is famous for the production of washi (Japanese traditional paper). So you can imagine the koinobori used in the event were not regular nylon ones but had something to do with their local specialty. Yes, those koinobori streamers were made out of paper, and instead of floating in the wind, they were swimming in the river!

How come the paper streamers can stay OK in the river for 3 days? Actually they were made of what we call “Fushokufu 不織布 (unwoven fabric?)” which is supposed to be very strong and water-resistant.


These koinobori on the roadside were also made of the same unwoven fabric, and each of them had a photo of a baby printed on it. I guess it was a part of the event and local moms paid some money to have their baby’s photos printed on the koinobori.


These koinobori in the air looked like nyron ones. Very cute and colorful.



Some kids borrowed koinobori and had fun flying them.




Others were having a good time in the river.


Some people went very close to the streamers in the river by boat.


This is how the paper koinobori looked like in the river. (Photos taken from the bridge.)




According to a Japanese article about this event, this is how the koinobori streamers were made: They first did the drawing and coloring (with water-based paints) on flat, rectangle pieces of unwoven cloth, then rolled each piece into a cylinder. To join the edges, no glue was used -- they were ironed together.

To me, the idea of “paper koinobori swimming in the river” is interesting, and more than a hundred colorful streamers in clean river water were worth watching. And kids’ laughter in beautiful countryside scenery! Something always nice to see anywhere in the world. But I just thought it was probably better to take a train to Ino station and walk from there. My friend and I had to stay in the car for a while in a waiting line to get into the venue, and to get out, we needed to take a very small path to go a long way round, which was kind of fun, though.


Flowers near the parking space.

So, at least, I did something to post about in Golden Week this year and I'm happy about that.
Oh, Dr., I think it would probably take a little longer to cure my bronchitis ;)
* Sorry. I corrected the pronunciation of 不織布. How embarrassing … :O


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posted by obachan, 5/07/2006 02:21:00 PM

4 Comments:

How wonderful! It's amazing to me too that paper koi could hold up so well in water. Your pictures are great, it must have been stunning to see them all in the river!
commented by Anonymous Amanda, 5/07/2006 7:28 PM  
Hi amanda,
Yeah, it was something to see. Too bad the photos can not show all the koinobori I saw in the river.
commented by Blogger obachan, 5/08/2006 11:40 AM  
Thanks for sharing this amazing sight with us! It's beautiful.. I can only imagine our Malaysian rivers... Instead of beautiful koi streamers in clear waters, there are only pieces of rubbish floating in the muddy, dirty water... Sigh.. Beautiful pictures!
commented by Blogger Pinkity, 5/11/2006 3:18 AM  
Hi Pinkity,
Glad to hear that you liked my photos. It's hard to believe that rivers in Malaysia are like that...
commented by Blogger obachan, 5/13/2006 1:05 AM  

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