It is pretty rare nowadays to see carps flying in the air in central Tokyo for the boys’ festival day. On the other hand, children of Tokyo may see sea animals flying in the sky at any given time. Embracing Ikebukuro’s Sunshine Aquarium’s theme as an “oasis in the sky,” sea lions frolic and swim above you, presenting a curious juxtaposition against the backdrop of buildings and the horizon.
On May 5th, Japanese people celebrate Children’s Day. It’s known as “Tango no Sekku” or “Kodomo no Hi”. On this day the families with boys will raise carp-shaped flags called “Koinobori” to express hope that their boys will grow up healthy and strong. The carp is thought to be a symbol of strength, courage and success because of a Chinese legend that a carp swam upstream and became a dragon. “Koi no Takinobori (Carp’s waterfall climbing)” in Japanese proverbs, means “to succeed vigorously in life.” The flags blowing in the wind look like carps are swimming.