Myths and Festival of Tanabata in Japan

Greetings to everyone reading our blog!

Tanabata, which is also known as Festival of the Weaver in Japan is around the corner.

Speaking of Tanabata which occurs on July 7th, the day when Orihime and Hikoboshi are reunited once a year. This story of Tanabata festival derived from an ancient Chinese legend and is said that in the olden days, the God of Heaven had a beautiful daughter and was a very skilful weaver maiden and she lived by the weaving machines every day. But she was sad that since she has to work so hard every day, she could not meet and fall in love with anyone. Her father, the God of Heaven was much concerned about her worries and arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi, who work hard as a cowherd taking care of the cows in the field. They met and eventually fell deeply in love, got married and neglected their respective chores which they have been diligently doing it.

In a fit of anger, Orihime father, God of Heaven separated them apart and drove them to the other side of the Milky Way. He couldn’t bear to see her daughter in such grief and told them that they would only see each other once a year, on July 7, and this was the legend of Tanabata. And of course there are a few variations on stories about Tanabata; however the above is widely known.

During Tanabata festival, it is widely-recognized and having the custom of hanging strips of paper to write wishes on tanzaku cards. Colorful tanzaku strips of paper hanging from a bamboo tree are a symbolic scene of Tanabata culture as a believe that their wishes will reaches to the heaven on the day of Tanabata.

Wishes were first written on these strips of paper in the Edo period. It is said that many of them wished for the improvement of calligraphy and other art forms in those days.

Here in Michi No Eki Aso, we have the children from YMCA Kurokawa Nursery school who came here with their teachers, having their wishes written and decorated on the bamboo trees. We hope the children wishes and whoever who had wrote their wishes and had hung them on the bamboo trees will come true.

What about everyone? Have you wrote your wishes and hang them on the bamboo tree in the event you have come across somewhere? Perhaps you can try that and see if your wishes do come true.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the above write up.

Yǒsħĩḿį ~ ☆

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