The ritual of May - 5 Japanese symbols that welcome prosperity

Yoroi kabuto, Koi nobori,
TANGO NO SEKKU 端午の節句 - Wakayama, Japan



May is the month of green. 

With the transition from the gentle pink blossoms of April, the colour of nature intensifies.

More earthly energy is around us.


In Japan, the 5 May is a national holiday, TANGO-NO-SEKKU 端午の節句, the boys' day, officially called Children’s day.  With our traditional ritual and ceremony, we wish for the prosperity and strength of the boy in the family. In March we celebrated MOMO-NO-SEKKU 桃の節句, the girls' day, the HINA festival with divine feminine energy. This is the month for boys, with the divine masculine energy, as nature deepens the colour of green. 


At home, we display YOROI-KABUTO (the miniature Samurai armour, as in the photo above) and put KOI-NOBORI 鯉のぼり carp fish-shaped flags outside of the house and let them swim with the wind. KOI, the carp fish are known as spirited fish and they have the strength to swim up against the stream and even the waterfall. KOI, the carp fish, is a symbol of "courage", "strength" and "determination" to overcome any obstacles.


Throughout Japan at the beginning of May, we also see them as well and the whole nation is embraced with this collective energy of strength and prosperity.


This month, masculine energy is abundant, the energy of expansion, prosperity, and manifestation.

This is the month that brings clarity to our life.



Including the symbols I mentioned above, here, I list 5 auspicious symbols for prosperity that are used to celebrate the Boys' day. These symbols can be also used every day, wherever we are, to enhance our life and business.


  • Armour (YOROI KABUTO )- Protection and Strength
  • Carp fish (KOI) - Courage and Determination
  • Falcon (TAKA, HAYABUSA) - Braveness, expansion and the ability to foresee the future
  • Tiger (TORA) - Protection and Prosperity.
  • Pine Tree (MATSU) - Immortality


In the traditional Japanese and Chinese art, these symbols are often painted as the theme.


You may also recall KOI (carp fish) graciously swimming in a pond in a traditional Japanese garden by the pine tree....

Not only that we enjoy their beauty but also, together with KOI, we can tune into this energy of courage, determination, and prosperity. 


We don't have to own these symbolic items, but we can bring these symbols in images to our daily life, in the form of art in the office, a digital image in our mobile phone display. Especially now, in this challenging time, we may feel down, we may feel fear, we may feel worried, these images will help us. 


These symbols help us to tune into the vibration of energy that keeps our well-being. These symbols act as a dial to tune into the radio station we want to listen to.


If your family members or friends who are feeling down or worried, you can send these images as protection.


Let's quiet our mind and tune into this powerful May energy of strength, courage, determination, prosperity. We can overcome anything we face! 




NOTE : The above two images are a type of ceremonial kimono called "UBUGI" (初着)for a baby boy. They are framed as an artwork, available at Japanese SALON. They are used to make the first family visit to a Shinto shrine to wish prosperity, health, and good life for the baby. Symbols that represent the wishes from the family are incorporated into the kimono as well as the family crest. UBUGI covered the baby, who was held in the mother's arm (traditionally by a grandmother of the father's side) and it was wrapped around the mother's body. At the age of 3, 5, and 7, boys wear Kimono for SHICHI GO SAN ceremony.



haiku & art of the month



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Wish you a lovely month of May!



(c)2020 Azumi Uchitani, all rights reserved.