Koinobori are essentially large carp-shaped windsocks flown on Children’s Day, especially by households with young boys. Although a rarity in large cities today, rural areas still fly huge koinobori in large numbers. Each house hangs their koinobori carp from the top of a towering pole in the yard. The koi are in descending order–the largest black carp first, followed by the slightly smaller red carp, then the blue carp, etc.
As April comes to an end, these koinobori carp can be seen all over Japan.
However, Zamami does things a little different than Japan.
Zamami pays tribute to its own unique and bountiful sea by hanging windsocks shaped like whales instead of koi. Every winter, humpback whales come all the way down to Zamami from northern waters by Alaska in order to breed and raise their young.
Although the whales have already returned north, Zamami’s school carries on as if they were still here by hanging a long row of whale-nobori in addition to the regular koi-nobori. With their little whale flippers and fluke, Zamami’s whale-nobori are unique and undeniably adorable.
Come check out Zamami’s whale-nobori for yourself!