Izumo Iwai Dako

Iwai Dako Cerebration Kites From Izumo

The Izumo Iwai dako cerebration kite This is a lucky kite made in Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture, in the shape of a crane and turtle.

Izumo is one of the old provinces of Japan and is known for its Izumo Taisha (Izumo Grand Shrine), Japan’s oldest and second most important shrine.

These kites have been handed down in the Senke and Kitajima families, which are closely related to Izumo Taisha Shrine.

Izumo City
© Izumo City

It is said that the kites were first flown by villagers on the beach of Hikisa, which is known for the legend of Kokubiki, when there was a celebration for both families during the Genroku era (1688-1704).

The small festive kites invented during this period of history have been handed down to the present, and in recent years, decorative kites of 15 to 40 centimeters in length have become popular.

It takes 4 to 5 days to make one kite because all the process from cutting bamboo strips, making a mold, pasting Japanese paper, painting, and drying is done by hand.

In the Edo period, when the Sen (Tsuruyama) and Kitajima (Kameyama) families, which served Izumo Taisha, celebrated an occasion, the children of the shrine would fly giant kites depicting cranes and turtles at the nearby Inasa beach. This custom died out in the Meiji era (1868-1912), but it was revived by “Shuku Kite Takahashi” near the shrine and has become widely popular since then.

Izumo Iwai Dako Kites
Izumo Iwai Dako Kites © Izumo City

Mr. Hidemi Takahashi, who is now the third generation, still cuts down bamboo by himself to make a ladder and pastes Japanese paper one by one to finish. The charm of the letter expression is, of course, obvious, but it is also clear that even the back side of the paper has been carefully handcrafted.