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Japanese Traditional Craft Resource Center Category


Japanese Traditional Craft

Craft Category Toys & Entertainment
Name Mishima Oni Yōzu kite (Mishima Demon Kite)

Main Production Site:Yamaguchi

Yōzu, which means a “kite”, and Oni Yōzu is a type of kite on which a demon face is drawn. It is the size of 6-8 Tatami mats, which is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms. 6-8 Tatami mats are around 9-13 m2.

When the first-born son is born in a family, an Oni Yōzu kite is made with a wish that the boy will grow big and strong like the kite, which can majestically fly in the sky. The kite became the size of 6-8 tatami mats because many people such as relatives and friends each brought Kasa Gami (a type of oiled umbrella paper) to celebrate the boy’s birth and make the kite.

There was a custom in which around 20 people gathered to fly a big kite on a beautiful New Year’s day. They prayed for the boy’s happiness and also his family’s success and prosperity.

It is said that the design of a demon would work as a charm to protect people from evil and harm. A small size Oni Yōzu kite is popular as a lucky charm for business success and family fortune when it is hung at the entrance of a house or a shop.

-Courtesy of Mishima Tourist Association

Materials Bamboo, Japanese paper
Crafting Processes [1]A demon’s face is drawn on Japanese paper.

[2]A Heko (a tail with red and white stripes) is made.

[3]The demon’s ears are made.

[4]The demon’s tears(※1) are made.
※1 Tears are paper tassels which are attached to the demon’s eyes.

[5] Spars are glued on the back of the Japanese paper on which the demon face was drawn.

[6] Ears are glued on the upper left and right sides of the demon’s face.

[7] The red and white striped tail is glued to the bottom of the demon’s face.

[8] The tears are attached to the demon’s eyes.

[9] A string is attached to two horizontal spars.

[10] A bridle line is attached to the demon side of the kite.
History Oni Yōzu kite custom has been handed down in Mishima (Mishima Island, Hagi City, Yamguchi Prefecture) from long ago. Although it is not certain exactly when the custom began, according to one theory, it is said that this kite-making custom began in the Heian period (8-12c).

The custom of flying Oni Yōzu kites on New Year’s day has been preserved from long ago. The Oni Yōzu kite flying festival is celebrated every New Year in Mishima.

◆Exhibition / Showcase
For more information:
Mishima Tourist Association
251-1 Mishima, Hagi-City,
Yamaguchi Prefecture 758-0701
Hagi City Government Office Mishima Branch
TEL: +81-(0)838-23-3311
FAX: +81-(0)838-23-3313

◆Event Information
Oni Yōzu Kite Flying Festival
Period: Every year from January 1 to 3
Location: Hon Village…Haccho Hattan / Uzu…Kan’nonbira

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