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Reiko Ho

10 Fun Facts about The Carp Who Would Not Quit and Other Animal Stories

Posted on December 11, 2023

Reiko Ho, the playwright and director of The Carp Who Would Not Quit and Other Animal Stories, is an accomplished director and theatre maker from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. Reiko loves telling stories that reflect the diverse voices of her island home. She holds an MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences and is currently Artistic Associate for Honolulu Theatre for Youth.  Reiko is a member of The Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) and on the Board of Directors for TYA/USA.

Check out Reiko’s 10 fun facts below:

The Carp Who Would Not Quit and Other Animal Stories

1. It’s said that the koto was invented in China around the fifth to the third century BC.

2. The koto appeared in the Japanese court during the 8th century and was called the gakusō.

3. There are lots of “Easter Eggs” in the show.

4. There are six individual stories in the play, and they all teach a different lesson.

5. In the Crane story, the characters will sometimes speak in haiku! (Haiku is a Japanese poetic form that consists of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.)

6. In Okinawa, Shisa (lion dogs) always come in pairs. One has an open mouth and one has a closed mouth representing yin and yang. Shisa are believed to protect the home.

7. Colors of koi (carp) have meanings.  White-and-black koi represent good luck or fortune. Yellow-and-black koi represent wealth or abundance. Pink-and-black koi represent feminine beauty or gracefulness. Orange-and-black koi represent courage, ambition, and determination. In The Carp Who Would Not Quit, Hiro is orange to symbolize his courage and determination!

8. The design of the koi puppets and crane, and even the backdrop, are inspired by origami, the Japanese art of folding paper.

9. Fossilized rice balls, musubi, have been found throughout Japan and it is estimated that musubi originated in the Iron Age (300 BC – 300 AD). In the Edo era (17th -19th centuries).

10. Musubi are one of the most beloved and best-selling products in convenience stores in Japan and in Hawaii. They come in an astonishingly wide variety.

To learn more about the show and to purchase tickets, visit