Sagae Shusse Koi-nobori (carp streamer) (Sagae City)

Photo provided by Yoshiharu Shibuya


Japan has a tradition called Koi-nobori in which carp-shaped fabric streamers are hoisted on a tall pole in each household to wish for their children's healthy growth. The Shibuya family in Sagae City(situated at the center of the prefecture with a population of 40,000) has a long history of making traditional Koi-nobori streamers.
The custom of hoisting Koi-nobori was said to have begun and spread throughout the country during the Edo period (1603-1868), as parents wished that their children become successful in life. It was the Shibuya Family, who had been operating a Kimono dyeing business for generations, who began making hand-dyed Koi-nobori in the Shibahashi district of Sagae City.
The second generation proprietor of the Shibuya Family business, Harusuke, began to combine Koi-nobori making with his Kimono dyeing business around 1926, when he got an order to make Koi-nobori from a nearby elementary school. The following owner, Yoshio, made it the company's main business. The company is now in the hands of the 4th generation master dyer, Yoshiharu.

Photo provided by Yoshiharu Shibuya


Koi-nobori feature brilliant colors of red, blue, black and yellow, streaming brightly over the blue skies of Yamagata Prefecture.
To make a Koi-nobori, first lines are drawn on a piece of cotton cloth after cutting it down to the size of a Koi-nobori. It is then dyed with a Hake (a brush made of wood or plastic), dried in the sunshine, and after cutting and sewing, the final nose piece is attached.
The passing years have seen the development of more durable materials than the original cotton cloth and paints, but the methods of making traditional hand-dyed Koi-nobori remain almost unchanged since the day of the family's first generation owner of the business.
Considering the recent trends in family and dwelling size, new products have been developed, such as smaller Koi-nobori, suitable for hoisting off the balcony of an apartment, as well as framed Koi-nobori to adorn interior walls.

Main Products

●Koi-nobori Set (9.0-1.5 meter) (9.0~1.5 m)   ●Various type of Koi-nobori   ●Framed Koi-nobori