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Goldfish made by needle felting


Looking back to summer, there were various handicraft events in various places. At one of the events the Handmade Japan Festival aka. HMJ, I found goldfish, a familiar sight in the summer, which were created by Hikaru Yahagi, the would-be goldfish artist. They were so striking among many creations.

In her booth, there were some extremely large goldfish whose entire length were supposedly 1m. I was abashed to use a dainty word like ‘gold fish’ to describe a creature with such an overwhelming presence! It looked like a napoleon fish. Its transparent fish scales and tail fluke were faithfully depicted.

“I have been a goldfish enthusiast since I was in primary school. Now I only create gold fish using by beads and needle felting.” (Yahagi)

Goldfish brings to mind goldfish scooping at summer festival. When I was a child, going to a festival, I begged my parents to let me try goldfish scooping. I was permitted try it once or twice, but it was not easy to catch the fish so eventually a goldfish vendor gave me one or two goldfish for pity’s sake….. Do you have a memory like that?

“I guess that goldfish scooping maybe the very first opportunity for Japanese children to encounter goldfish.” says Yahagi. She reluctantly admits that goldfish scooping at festivals is decreasing, as most parents refuse to bring goldfish back with their children.

“It’s a pity to know that emblematic strength of goldfish in Japanese culture is declining. The goldfish has always played an important role in teaching children both the preciousness of life and Japanese culture. So I created an opportunity for children to meet goldfish in different way from goldfish scooping.” (Yahagi)

Yahagi holds workshops on how to make goldfish crafts. In her booth, with napoleon fish-grade-goldfish, there were many goldfish straps and barrettes which children can ware.

For further information about Yahagi’s creation, please go to her blog: