This painted paper Sagara kite depicts a bust portrait of a mythological warrior. He is wearing yellow and red armor, and his helmet (kabuto) features a dragon at the helm. The fletches of an arrow are visible at the upper left, and an inscription in kanji script is on the upper right. Pieces of the rest of his armor are visible around his face. The warrior is frowning, and has a mustache and sideburns. The kite is five-sided, with a wooden dowel frame and a silk fringe tail.
Sagara kites originated in the early 18th century in the town of Sagara in Shizuoka Prefecture. They are characterized by their simple design of four ribs and two bridle lines. They are traditionally made to celebrate the birth of a son and are often flown with the child's name painted on the kite during Kodomo-no-hi (Boys' Day or Children's Day) on May 5th. It is customary in Sagara to hold kite "battles" on Kodomo-no-hi, in which opposing teams attempt to entangle and cut the lines of their rivals' kites. In preparation for these battles, the kite lines are reinforced with glass powder mixed with glue; these are called bidori-ito.
This object was donated to the Boston Children's Museum by the Citizens of Kyoto, Japan in 1976 to honor the Boston–Kyoto Sister City relationship and the move of The Japanese House to Boston.