• Louise Worner

Kodomo no Hi and Ikebana for Children



Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi), previously known as Boy’s Day, is celebrated in Japan on 5th May. A Kabuto, a traditional Japanese military helmet, is often placed on display and Koi Nobori carp streamers are flown, representing a carp’s strength against adversity as it swims upstream. In Japan, Ayame no hi, Iris Day, also falls on May 5th, as a result, irises have become synonymous with Kodomo no Hi.


Materials

To celebrate Kodomo no hi, my daughters made origami Koi Noburi and combined them with irises in their ikebana arrangements. They used The Japan Society’s easy to follow origami Koi Noburi tutorial and attached their creations onto bamboo skewers.


Folding an origami Koi using the Japan Society's tutorial

From our garden they selected different sized iris leaves and combined these with smaller Dutch iris flowers. They placed the leaves in groups of three, paying close attention to the direction of the tips of the leaves.


Placing the kenzan in the vase.

My youngest daughter selected a semi-circular vase, she explained that she chose the vase as it reminded her of the shape of the Koi Noburi. Before adding water to the vase, she placed her kenzan to the far left of the vase, explaining that in this position the water is visible, and there is more space on one side of the vase.


Adding the first group of iris leaves.

She arranged the tallest iris leaves first and added a flower to the back for depth and then added more to the front.


Adding the first flower.

Covering the kenzan with a small group of iris leaves.

To cover the kenzan she added a small group of three leaves at the front edge of the kenzan. To complete her Kodomo no hi arrangement she added her origami Koi Noburi.


The final touch, adding the origami Koi Noburi.

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