Koinobori is a streamer, or rather a windsock, that is in the shape of a carp. This streamer, or a set of streamers, are traditionally flown from April to early May over homes where children reside (originally for boys, now for children of both genders). The events precede the Japanese national holiday of Children’s Day on May 5 each year. Though the Japanese kanji characters for koinobori translate directly as “carp streamer” (鯉幟：鯉=koi [carp] 幟=nobori [streamer]), I reckon it is a double entendre in that the second character, nobori, is pronounced the same as 登 (to climb) and 上 (to ascend, go up, go upstream) and 昇 (to rise, like the sun or moon). Or that’s my take on it, anyway. According to the Japanese American Museum of San Jose: “The Japanese consider the carp to be the most spirited of fish, so full of energy and power that it can fight its way up swift-running streams and cascades. Because of its strength and determination to overcome all obstacles, it stands for courage and the ability to attain high goals.”
What the koinobori means to me
I’ve always felt an association with fish in general as a sort of totem animal, meaning that I feel it represents me in some way. For me, the essence of the fish is simply being there and appreciating the surroundings one is in (hopefully, I’m not the last one to discover the water!). I’ve kept fish as pets over the years and have always enjoyed the calming effect of tending to them. They’re certainly a bit less demanding of one’s attention than, say, a dog or a cat, though you’d still have to find a way to make sure they won’t die while you’re away on vacation or something. Having spent a number of years living in a suburb of Osaka, Japan, I’ve gravitated more specifically toward an association with the carp. I’ve sort of taken a shine to this interpretation of the carp as manifested in the koinobori. In viewing it that way, a greater sense of purpose is added to life than just mere existence. That purpose is to always be striving to better myself in some way; to always be learning, or to improve the skills I have, or to achieve a better appreciation of the world and the people in it. And perhaps most of all, to contribute something to make the world a better place. I haven’t succeeded in all of this, I know very well, but that is the goal of my journey. The journey of one’s life is more important than the destination, in my view. But adding to one’s journey a goal, a sense of purpose, should have a profound influence on the path of one’s journey. I really don’t know where the final destination of this path that I’m on will take me, but I hope for myself that the influence of purpose is a positive one on my journey.
What does this mean for the koinobori blog?
Well, a few things. This site’s primary purpose is to display my graphic and web portfolio, which you can see on the koinobori.co home page. It is also a platform for me to get more familiar with the WordPress CMS (Content Management System). Related to that, I’ll be chronicling my development with this particular skill, which is useful to my career goals. It’s likely I’ll experiment with some theme packages to see how they work, or how customizable they are, or how responsive. Once this site is sufficiently functional, I’ll be making forays into Drupal and Joomla development with other website concepts I have in mind. I’ll be chronicling those, too, as well as any web development, front-end design, UI/UX and programming skills I attempt to foster along the way. This should increase my familiarity with the PHP language and how it holds a website together and allow me to better serve my customers with their needs in maintaining a web presence. The goal for my customers is to make the experience of maintaining a website as easy as possible. I know that, for myself, I want to rely on outside help as little as possible with regard to this and that is the view I believe most people and businesses have with personal or professional web development. My goal is to help facilitate that.
I expect I’ll be writing about other categories, as well. I have interests in art, photography, music (I know, don’t we all!), food(!), and travel, though I haven’t been able to do this so much lately. And after spending several years in Japan, I’ve become a bit of a Japanophile, so you’ll likely find me waxing poetic about subjects related to Japanese art, language, and culture, etc.
Depending on how things go, and as I start other web development projects, this blog may tend to gravitate toward the more professional or more personal. For now, it’s a start!
What’s in it for you?
Hopefully, my journey will bring insights I can share with you along the way. Perhaps a snappy new plugin to try, or a workaround for a pesky coding problem. Perhaps some travel tips about Japan or an epiphany about life in general. Who knows, really? Discovery is part of the journey.
Share with me!
So, tell me what you think! Good, bad, ugly. Criticism is welcome (though I admit I’m partial to praise and accolades). I do have one rule, however; Be nice. It’s OK to be critical or to simply disagree about something. If you think my view on something is wrong, or my approach is wrong, tell me! But if you can’t do it without using rude language, disparaging anyone on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual identity/orientation, politics, sports team affiliation, nationality, or any topic deeply personal to someone in any way that arouses fear, dread, hatred, anger, a quest for revenge, etc. you face a very high likelihood that your comment will be removed and perhaps banishment from making future posts. Capisce?
So, welcome to koinobori.co. And, uh, hire me for your next front end web development project.