Koinobori: Japanese Carp Windsocks or Kites

Koinobori: Japanese Carp Windsocks or Kites

Appropriate for grades: K - 12
Subject areas: History and Social Studies Visual and Performing Arts

Children’s Day is a national holiday in Japan, which always falls on May 5th. Families fly giant carp windsocks, called koinobori, on flagpoles next to their homes from April to early May.The holiday apparently comes from an ancient Chinese story about carp, which swam up a waterfall and turned into dragons. The carp, or koi in Japanese, became symbols of perseverance. The Japanese version tells of the koi swimming up the waterfall, but does not mention the dragons. Parents hope their children will be as spirited and determined as the strong carp that can swim upstream and even through powerful waterfalls. Spanish Language Version


Teaching / Learning Goals:

Teachers and students will …


  • Learn about Japanese art and culture and how flying a carp windsock is a celebration of childhood in Japan (historical and cultural understanding).
  • Use their own design elements to create a carp windsock (perceiving, analyzing and responding).
  • Create a carp windsock in the Japanese style using three-dimensional paper techniques (creating and performing).


Download Lesson Plan