If you were to exit the main train station in Kotohira earlier this month, you would have been greeted by thousands of colorful nobori (banners) lining the streets that lead to the town’s famed Konpira Shrine.

The man behind these nobori is fourth-generation artisan Atsuhiko Ohno, 44, of Sensho Yoshinoya. His family’s studio has been making art for kabuki festivals and traditional ceremonies since 1919.

“From the first performance, (Sensho Yoshinoya) has been creating a kabuki nobori that heralds the arrival of spring in Kotohira along with the cherry blossoms,” Ohno says, proudly noting that each nobori is made by hand using a regional dyeing technique called Sanuki norizome.