The symbol of youth, bravery, perseverance, strength, and self-defense in Japan and Korea. According to Japanese mythology, there lives a big carp, nine feet long, in Lake Biwa and which devours people who drown there. On May 5 the Festival of Boys is celebrated. In this festival the carp is the most prominent ornament, and is hung on trees and walls.
Lake Biwa is the largest lake of Japan, in west central Honshu, near Kyoto, and figures prominently in Japanese history and legends.