Kitchen Culture

tasty tidbits from the old-fashioned Japanese Kitchen

  (Carp Banners)



From mid-April through the Golden Week holidays early in May, carp banners called koi nobori, dangle from poles outside many homes and shops, and flutter in the breezes of public spaces (above, left, a string of them over Shimanto River in Shikoku). These flying carp appear to be swimming vigorously in the sky, alluding to a Chinese legend in which carp become dragons after boldly swimming over challenging waterfalls. The carp has come to symbolize strength and perseverance. Families and communities throughout Japan wishing for prosperity and health of the next generation display koinobori everywhere.

Koinobori carp inspire a wide range of items from (strawberry and kiwifruit) shortcake to obentō lunches featuring omusubi-like rice bundles; the top one is draped with black nori, the center with red strips of crab kamaboko, and the bottom rice tossed with yukari red shiso flakes.
Even chopstick sheathes can be fashioned to resemble the flying carp!

DOWNLOAD the paper PATTERN here.