from Akita Prefecture

Otoko mean boy -- Onna means girl. This kite can be decorated with a girl or boy's face and is placed over the bed of a sick child. The tongue is supposed to absorb the illness and later the kite is flown and the line cut, taking all the illness away with it. If picked up by anybody it is said they will get the sickness.



Besides making some of the world's largest kites the Japanese have had for hundreds of years a fascination with miniature kites. One of the pastimes of the retired Samurai Warriors was to use straw and tissue paper to make small kites that would fly over the rising air from the hot coals of their cooking stoves. These three are 5mm high. (Shown next to a pin)


 TSUGARU KITE from Aomori Prefecture

These kites are made in the cold Northern Region of Japan where bamboo is difficult to grow therefore the kite frames are made from heavy cypress wood. Tsugaru kites require strong winds to fly and are highly prized for the quality of their paintings which are usually of famous warriors or mythical figures. Flown with a hummer, which vibrates the kite surface and can be heard for miles. 1.9 x 1.3 metres

Made by Yoshizo Sakuraba


 EDO KITE from Tokyo

This kite gets its name from the old name for the city of Tokyo (Edo) where it has been made for many hundreds of years. It is one of the most highly decorative kites in Japan. The style of painting is called Nishik-e and is very similar to the wood-block prints popular during the 18th century. Edo kites are flown with about 20 long bridle lines normally 20 to 25 times the height of the kite. This particular kite is decorated with a Samurai warrior on horse back and was made by Teizou Hashimoto the last kite master making traditional Edo kites in Tokyo and who sadly died in 1991 aged 87. His kites are highly prized by collectors.

A fan shaped kite decorated with a red headed crane (the national bird of Japan) the red sunset and wave patterns. The crane is a symbol of longevity. In Japanese folklore it's said to live for 1000 years.

Painted by my daughter Jennie & built by me

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