I searched on Amazon Japan and Rakuten but no sellers would send them to Australia (they are a large package with a full set including a pole and sometimes a weight bag or balcony harness. I didn't give up and decided to look on eBay. There were a large array of choices, all out of China which made me feel a little sad really, I mean if I want to spend the money on something traditionally Japanese I want it to come from Japan right?! There were a few single fish flags from Japan but they were used 'vintage' and while they were expensive, they showed signs of wear.
Unperturbed I continued to look over a period of a few months and eventually it paid off when I came across a listing from the Gallatin, TN in the US for a full set including all the bells and whistles, they were unused and from Japan too. Alright!!! The postage was a rather princely sum (twice the cost of the set) but in fairness the box is rather large and I purchased the item anyway.
I think we will only use the actual flag parts because this is a balcony set (we don't have a balcony) and I can't work out how we could possibly rig up the spinner parts which sit at the top of the telescopic pole on our flag pole. We (I mean DH in this case) will make up a short section of rope which we will attach the streamer and 3 fish flags onto and then run this up the flag pole. The longest one is 1.5 metres long, so it should stay clear of the roof as our regular flags are that length.
Speaking of boys day and Koinobori, a while back During one of my many recent trips to Bunbury I purchased some fabric from Michael Millers Asian fabric range. Not sure what I am going to do with it, probably just make a panel for my niece and nephews to hang up on Girls Day (3 March) and Boys Day (May 5th)
|Top Row: GirlsDay and Onnanoko panels. Bottom Row: Boys Day and Otokonoko panels.|
I showed Miho this fabric and she commented that she had never seen a Japanese boy riding a scooter like that, but the rest looked fairly authentic and she also said that, not having a brother, she wasn't sure what boys did on boys day. If you look closely in the girls panel (top right) you will see temari balls being tossed in the air.