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Thread: 2012 - the year of the Dragon

  1. #1
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    2012 - the year of the Dragon

    2012 is the year of the dragon in Japan. Many versions but I especially like this one.

    Japanese legend has it that every year thousands of koi prized as a beautiful, courageous, strong, and persistent fish, begin a difficult journey against all odds swimming up rivers and leaping up waterfalls to spawn.

    Out of many many koi, and perhaps only once in many years a special koi is brave and strong enough to not only swim up the river, leap up waterfalls. and finally leap into a rainbow. Rainbows are also called "The Dragon River." The end of the Rainbow is also called the "Dragons Gate."

    The koi begins his transformation in mid-leap and transforms into a dragon, before continuing to soar high into the sky as a full fledged dragon. This is a special honor for a special koi.
    Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    Carp continue to play a significant part in Japanese society! On May 5th the country has a special holiday . Originally this was Boy’s Day, but since 1948 Boys’ Day and Girls’ Day have been merged into Children’s Day.
    One of the symbols of this holiday are the koinobori or koi wind socks that are flown at everyone’s homes. Each koinobori symbolizes a male in the family. A koinobori set consists of, from the top of the pole down, a pair of arrow-spoked wheels with a ball-shaped spinning vane, flying-dragon streamer that looks like a windsock, a black koinobori which represent the father and a red koinoborii which represents the eldest son. If more boys are in the household, an additional blue, green and then purple koinobori are added. The meaning behind the koinobori is to encourage the sons to become brave, courageous, and strong…….like the carp that became a Dragon.



    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  3. #3
    Tategoi bobbysuzanna's Avatar
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    Very cool information, thanks for sharing!

  4. #4
    Sansai sundan's Avatar
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    koinobori in silk can be costly.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 - the year of the Dragon-koinobori_4.jpg   2012 - the year of the Dragon-koinobori_top_e.jpg  

  5. #5
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    A cool example of japanese art depicting koi becoming a dragon. Look closely in the top right corner.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    I might add, that the event officially kicks off this year on the 23rd of this month.

    it is one of 12 signs and involves individual horoscope as well. it changes on a yearly calendar with a 12 year revolving cycle. The date each year varies in january or february. Unlike our january ist date in North america.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei
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    Ray and I both love Asian History and mythology!

    For the hard core student who has read our many posts on koi culture, it must be obvious that you can't really cut modern Nishikigoi away from Japanese culture.
    But here's a news flash for those so not atuned to Japanese culture--

    Japan is in many ways a product of their own spin or brand of religions, life styles and indeed 'carp' of other countries. Not unlike our folklore being bits and pieces of western cultures originals ( Greeks, Romans, Germans etc) they gave us santa claus, the days of the week and months, theology, sayings etc.
    So just as Japan likely has not indigineous carp subspecies, it also likely has only a few old myths from it's original religion. True, it's core is still very Japanese! But peppered and even directly borrowed details are really from the Chinese culture- a dominate force in that part of the world for four thousand years! There was a time when upper class Japanese all spent time in China and Korea to become more educated and worldly. The import of religions, literature, folk lore and social customs was a natural result.

    So the original 'Carp and the dragon' folklore is Chinese. But how wonderful it plays into the Japanese culture and takes on a life and unique meaning of it's own for koi culture! JR

  8. #8
    Sansai
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Ray and I both love Asian History and mythology!

    For the hard core student who has read our many posts on koi culture, it must be obvious that you can't really cut modern Nishikigoi away from Japanese culture.
    But here's a news flash for those so not atuned to Japanese culture--

    Japan is in many ways a product of their own spin or brand of religions, life styles and indeed 'carp' of other countries. Not unlike our folklore being bits and pieces of western cultures originals ( Greeks, Romans, Germans etc) they gave us santa claus, the days of the week and months, theology, sayings etc.
    So just as Japan likely has not indigineous carp subspecies, it also likely has only a few old myths from it's original religion. True, it's core is still very Japanese! But peppered and even directly borrowed details are really from the Chinese culture- a dominate force in that part of the world for four thousand years! There was a time when upper class Japanese all spent time in China and Korea to become more educated and worldly. The import of religions, literature, folk lore and social customs was a natural result.

    So the original 'Carp and the dragon' folklore is Chinese. But how wonderful it plays into the Japanese culture and takes on a life and unique meaning of it's own for koi culture! JR
    Very true, and you can count me in. This folklore and the auspiciousness of the carp is well known to nearly every person raised in asian culture which is why you see carp/koi displayed on so many pieces of Chinese artwork. Han Chinese consider themselves direct descendants of the dragon... which is turn means they are descendants of koi (sorted twisted, but you get the idea). There are several locations in China that claim to be the actual Dragon Gate where dragons are born (I've been to one in Kunming), so perhaps it is even more real to Chinese than Santa is to us. The Dragon Year (water dragon), begins on January 23, 2012 in our calendar. So it is a 2nd chance to celebrate New Years! Don't miss it. I'll be out sitting by my pond to see if any of my koi are up the challenge.

  9. #9
    Daihonmei
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    Excellent perspective and contribution to the discussion, Farmer. Happy New Year past and soon to come. JR

  10. #10
    Sansai jimfish98's Avatar
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    Adding to the legend is that the koi actually stops along the stream to gain knowledge from other animals. Its actually a cool story, of course with many variations depending on who tells it. My image is a tattoo of it. Family style tattoo of 3 koi swimming up stream (wife, daughter, son), with a mid leap dragon koi representing myself at the top.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 - the year of the Dragon-226990_225342160809684_100000017050437_969677_7224574_n.jpg   2012 - the year of the Dragon-250709_225636380780262_100000017050437_971303_3944598_n.jpg  

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