What do Japanese put outside their house for good luck: Koinobori/Koi’s history
The Meaning of Koinobori in Japanese CultureKoinobori is a traditional Japanese decoration consisting of carp-shaped flags that are hoisted on poles outside of houses during the spring season. In Japanese culture, Koinobori is believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and success to families. The colorful flags are also believed to ward off evil spirits and promote strength, bravery, and perseverance.
Origins of Koinobori: A History LessonThe origins of Koinobori can be traced back to the Edo Period (1603 – 1868) when members of the Samurai class began to put up a carp-shaped exhibit in front of their homes. The carp was seen as a symbol of strength and courage, as it was known for its ability to swim upstream even against powerful currents. Over time, the carp exhibit evolved into a tradition of hoisting carp-shaped flags outside of homes during the spring season.
How Koinobori Became a Symbol of Good LuckKoinobori became a symbol of good luck in Japanese culture due to the traditional belief that the carp transforms into a dragon after swimming upstream for a determined period. The transformation to a dragon is associated with success and prosperity, making Koinobori a potent symbol of good fortune.
The Edo Period and Its Influence on KoinoboriThe Edo period was of significant influence on the development of Koinobori. During this era, the Samurai class dominated Japanese society and adopted a strict code of conduct known as Bushido. The bushido code emphasized resilience, courage, and self-discipline that were believed to be necessary qualities for a samurai warrior. These qualities were also reflected in the Koinobori decoration, which featured the carp, considered a symbol of strength and resilience.
Why Carp-Shaped Flags are used for KoinoboriCarp-shaped flags are used for Koinobori because in Japanese folklore, the carp is regarded as a powerful and inspiring creature that is associated with strength, resilience, and perseverance. The carp is known for its ability to swim upstream, even against the current, and its strength and determination were highly valued by the samurai and Japanese society at large.
- The carp is also believed to transform into a dragon, a symbol of prosperity and success.
- Koinobori is used to showcase the values of strength, resilience, patience, and hard work to children and society.
- Koinobori is seen as a way to teach children about Japanese traditions, culture, and history.