In Japan, the hobby of kite flying has risen to an art form. Kites, or “tako,” were originally brought to Japan from China by Buddhist missionaries in 649-794 AD. Kites were mainly used for religious events and celebrations, but the innovative Japanese also found a way to use them in the construction of shrines and temples. Large kites were used to lift building material such as tiles to workers on scaffolds and roof tops.
During the Edo Period (1603-1867) when Japan distanced itself from the outside world, kite making flourished. New styles and designs were created, usually depicting characters of Japanese folk lore or artwork with religious meaning.