Hand painted Japanese Edo Kites

Tetsuya Kishida, a veteran kite creator

Japanese kiete artisan: Tetsuya Kishida

Japanese Edo Kites / Battling Samurai

Japanese Edo Kites / Battling Samurai

The first word that came out from Tetsuya Kishida was “to fly is my dream from my childhood days.” He soon found out that was impossible and thought about becoming a pilot instead. He also liked to draw and was encouraged to attend art school. Both didn’t happen due to the break of war.

Later, he developed his style of paintings and studied kite making and revitalized the Edo-style kites that made him a forerunner and a master of Edo Kite creator here in Tokyo.

His kites are characterized by stunning graphic designs of amazingly dynamic impact, in themes typically having to do with stalwart warriors or symbols of good luck. Each design is his original interpretation and painted with traditional brush techniques.

Japanese Edo Kites / Rising Sun

Japanese Edo Kites / Rising Sun

Japanese Edo Kites / Daruma

Japanese Edo Kites / Daruma

But Tetsuya Kishida’s primary aim is not creating beautiful paintings. The most important aspect he says is “the kite must fly, and it must fly beautifully.” The collectors are afraid actually to fly his kites for the fear of damaging the kite from accidents. He often goes out flying his kites, so if the collectors are lucky, they could see his kites flying high in the sky.

The secret of his high flying kites is that they are very light despite the many numbers of wooden frameworks. To achieve this lightness, he uses bamboos that are over 150 years old. Such bamboos are stable, and are trimmed on the edges and holes are made to make them even lighter.

Besides Edo Kites, he also creates his original kites. He hasn’t forgotten his dream of flying and he created a bird kite, to fly like a bird. Amazingly realistic, the kite is said actually to attract “tonbi” birds, on which its design is based. And why not? Serendipitously, the word “tonbi” translates into English as the bird named “kite.” So this is technically a “kite kite”!

Japanese Edo Kites / Tonbi

Japanese Edo Kites / Tonbi

Tetsuya Kishida’s Edo Kites are sold at
JapanUniqueGifts.com

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