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kabuto koinobori

Let the Carps Grow: Origami Koinobori

Activities at the Library

This origami project finished at the end of May, 2021.
Any information below is for reference purpose only.

Celebrate Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day) with us as we combine two objects characteristic of the day, kabuto (samurai battle helmets) and koinobori (carp streamers), as part of a fun artistic project.

To get involved, you may drop off your premade origami kabuto in our collection box set up at our library’s front desk, or fold kabuto in person at the library using origami provided by us. Every day, we will continue to join your origami creations to form koinobori with various colourful patterns. We will publish photos of the koinobori growing day by day here on this page so that you can stay updated on their progress, so be sure to check back frequently!

We will raise koinobori in five different colour groups

click the photo to check the colour groups

Please use standard origami paper (15 x 15 cm., single-sided plain colour) matching any of these colour groups. Colour variants as seen in the picture are also accepted.

▶ Group 1: Black, Purple, Gold and Silver.
▶ Group 2: Green (dark and light).
▶ Group 3: Orange and Yellow.
▶ Group 4: Red and Pink.
▶ Group 5: Blue (dark and light).

Origami Kabuto Diagram

The above diagram was edited by Tavin and distributed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 3.0 license.

We look forward to your participation!

Participants will receive a clear file for “Erin’s Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese”, Japanese video learning materials available online, to you as a small token of our gratitude towards your contribution (one clear file per person/day while the stock lasts).

Children in primary school or younger can also collect a stamp on their Kid’s Reward Card (one stamp per person/day).

Why not try this project at your school or workplace?

Please feel free to download and print these files to make koinobori heads for your own origami project.

Black, Purple, Gold and Silver – Koinobori Head (Word 5.2MB)
Green – Koinobori Head (Word 3MB)
Orange and Yellow – Koinobori Head (Word 2.8MB)
Red and Pink – Koinobori Head (Word 2.7MB)
Blue – Koinobori Head (Word 2.7MB)
  1. Each file consists of 4 pages and is designed for single-sided printing on A3 size paper.
  2. Cut off the margins on the printed sheets.
  3. There is a weak white line on the pages with the fish scales. Use the line as a guide to align the two sheets. Joining two sheets forms a single side of the koinobori head.
  4. Attach origami kabutos on the koinobori head to make it grow. Double-sided sticky tape is recommended for easy handling and a non-patchy finish.
  5. Please do not upload or distribute the template files. Any recipients should instead be referred to download from this web page. Enjoy!

Photo Gallery (updated frequently)

Message from our origami advisor Midori Furze

Midori Furze

This project was well-received at an origami workshop in Tonga, 2019, which I was invited to by The Japan Foundation. I particularly like that this project is based around the concept that people can work together to create a large collaborative work while anyone can participate in at their own pace. Furthermore, I think this is a project that suits our current situation, where social gatherings are restricted but our desire to be connected with others remains. The Japanese hoist koinobori every year in May, allowing them to swim in the blue skies of spring in Japan. It is these koinobori that wish for children’s good health. I wish that our origami koinobori brings us similar good health here. 


April 1 – May 29, 2021

Mon-Fri: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 10am – 4pm

Closed Sundays and on public holidays (April 2, 3, 5 and 6)

The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008

Free; all materials provided.

(02) 8239 0055

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