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1.5.3 Tango no Sekku [Boys' Day Festival], circa 1930s

Japanese family posed in front of a Central Valley building with many fish banners two-stories high, displayed in honor of Matsuri (Boy’s Day), circa 1930s.  
Ahern, Kathleen
circa 1930s

Tango no Sekku [Boys' Day Festival], circa 1930s, General Subjects Photograph Collection; California Historical Society; CHS2012.831


Many Japanese families celebrate Children’s Day, or Komodo no hi. Families hang paper fish outside their homes like we see in this photograph. The fish are hung with the hopes that children will be healthy and successful in life. Does your community celebrate certain people or groups? For what celebrations do you use decorations? What type of decorations do you use?
Kodomo no hi, or Children's Day, is celebrated every year in Japan on May 5. On this day, children are respected and honored for their individual talents. Originally known as Boys’ Day, the holiday was changed in 1948 to celebrate both boys and girls. Fish streamers are flown on poles outside of public buildings and homes to bring luck and good fortune to the children inside. Koi fish, or carp, are believed to be strong fish that are admired for their brave spirit, as they often swim upstream.

Photograph of a family posed outside of a building with flags waving in the foreground.
Written on back of photo: Fish displayed in honor of Boy’s Day, fifth day of 4th month, Matsuri (festival) celebrated by Japanese. Photo by Kathleen Ahern.