The carps and nobori Japanese banners, warrior's Yoroi and Kabuto helmets, samurai dolls and swords are all a part of the display used for Boy's Day (renamed Children's Day) on May 5th in Japan. They reflect the parent's wish to inspire their boys in manliness, discipline, bravery and the honor codes which are associated with them.
Originally, Nobori was used in the battle field to identify the troops, some were to
show the warriors where their taisho (general) was. The others were to shift the troops. It took several men to hold the big Nobori banner. It was an effective tool in the 16th century especially when the numbers were exceeding 100,000 in major battles. Drums and trumpets were also used for the same reason.
The design on thick (but loosely woven) cotton is dyed in a Tsutsugaki method, freehand rice paste-resist dye. Some of the pictures shown here are taken from the back side. It shows the
natural uneven colors on the front and back which is not seen in newer printed noboris. This piece was cut and saved from the main part of an old, originally long Nobori (the other Nobori in my listings are all 17 to 18 feet long!). Lost art of Japan.
Dimensions are: 28 inches x 44 inches long. Early 1900s.