Gotô Baramon Kite as Emblem
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The Baramon is a handmade kite from the Gotô Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. Its motif features a fierce ogre biting an ornate warrior's helmet. Today, the Baramon is widely recognized as a unique Gotô product. However, nearby regions of Nagasaki also produce similar traditional kites. How and why was the Baramon's exclusive connection to Gotô cultivated and how does it affect notions of regional identity in contemporary Gotô? This thesis argues that while the Baramon belongs to the broader repertoire of Nagasaki kite types, the people of Gotô have gradually appropriated it as a regional symbol by selectively associating particular aspects of Gotô culture and history with the kite's iconography and shape. Consequently, it has become an officially recognized emblem of Gotô. Moreover, the playful transmutation of the Baramon continues in the tourist industry's continuous efforts to revitalize Gotô's image by promoting local history and culture.