Tako Kichi: Kite Crazy in Japan
- Museum of International Folk Art
- Weekly on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
- Starting on: Jun 09, 2013
- Ending on: Mar 23, 2014
- 10:00AM - 05:00PM
Stilled though these handcrafted kites may be, hanging from the wall or the ceiling, imaginations will soar during kite-flying events and kite-making workshops at the museum’s Milner Plaza location.
Traditional Japanese kites are made from a split bamboo framework and sheets of handmade washi paper (made from Mulberry tree bark). The paper is often brightly painted with colorful narrative illustrations in the ukiyo-e style representing legendary heroes and other design elements referencing Japanese folklore.
Originally kites were flown for religious purposes or to ward off evil spirits—promoting, among other things, prosperity and good fortune. An abundance of kite festivals and celebrations around Japan celebrate traditions such as the birth of a son, the New Year, or a good harvest with stalks of rice being sent aloft.
There are even huge fighting kites handled by teams of strong, experienced men. Dramatic airborne battles rage with the intent of downing the opposing kite. Kite fights may have developed from their use during wartime reconnaissance in times past.