An exhibition showing an array of colourful Japanese kites has opened in Abu Dhabi Mall. The kites are big and small, of various colours and depict a host of images. They are on display on the third floor of the mall in the Palm Court.

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Published: Mon 24 Apr 2006, 1:41 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:24 PM

Kites were first invented around 2,000 years ago in China, not appearing in Japan until the eighth century during the start of the Heian period — when Japanese culture thrived under the powerful rule of the Heian dynasty.

At the time, kites were called 'paper hawks' and were usually used as a way of sending messages.

They developed over the following centuries until the Edo period from 1603 to 1868 when they spread to the common people.

It is thought that more kinds of kite exist in Japan than in any other country. Today, Japanese fly kites on festive dates, as it is believed that flying a kite high is a good omen.

The exhibition also includes spinning tops, which were first brought into Japan from China and Korea about 1,200 years ago.

The exhibition is held under the patronage of Shaikha Fatima, president of the General Women's Union, and was opened by Ms Mona Al Suwaidi and Japanese Ambassador Hajime Tsujimoto. It will last until April 30.

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