In Japan, May 5th is こどもの日, Kodomo no Hi, or Children’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate and appreciate children, to pray for their health and prosperity in the coming year. It was originally a day to celebrate boys and fathers, while Hina-matsuri was a day to celebrate girls, but in the late 40s, it shifted to a day to appreciate all children and their accomplishments!
Koi-shaped streamer kites, known as koinobori, are tradtional decorations for this holiday. There are typically two large koi depicting the parents, and then one smaller one for each child in the family. I found this obi with koinobori on it on eBay eons ago, and it remains one of my all-time favourite pieces. It’s a strange duck, softer silk than obi typically are, and full of awkward seams on the back side. I suspect it started life as either a kimono or some sort of decorative piece, but someone decided it would make a lovely obi and I’m so glad they did!
Arrows are also a fairly typical motif for the holiday, so I paired the obi up with this bold Taisho-era yabane komon, and I’ve always thought this adorable car obidome Kansai_gal got for me looks like a little toy car, so it felt like the perfect finishing touch for the outfit.