Artisans make brightly colored banners ahead of traditional boys’ festival

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Artisans in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, work under a blue sky making banners that wish for a child’s success in life and health, ahead of Tango no Sekku, or the traditional boys’ festival to be held on May 5. The workers used brushes to add final touches to the banners at Watanabe koinobori, a banner maker that employs traditional hand-drawing techniques that have been passed on for generations. The banners depict warriors from the Sengoku (warring) period (1493-1573), such as Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-98), who ruled Japan prior to the Tokugawa shogunate. Smaller banners for indoor use have become popular in recent years, as fewer families hang large ones outdoors.