Thursday, July 7, 2016


Japanese woodblock print of Tanabata in Edo (Tokyo) 1852 by Hiroshige

Last year (when I was living in Hokkaido) I posted about Tanabata.  In Hokkaido, Tanabata is celebrated August 7th. In the rest of Japan, it is celebrated on July 7th. Legend has it that on only this one day of the year, two lovers, weaver star Vega and shepherd star Altair meet in the Milky Way.  On this day, children write their wishes and hang them on bamboo branches. I'm writing my wishes this morning, but I'm not sure where to hang them. The pandas ate all my bamboo.  Maybe on my curtain rod? What are you wishing for this year?

According to Wikipedia, there is also Tanabata song:

ささのは さらさら
のきばに ゆれる
お星さま きらきら
きんぎん すなご
ごしきの たんざく
わたしが かいた
お星さま きらきら
空から  見てる

The bamboo leaves rustle,
shaking away in the eaves.
The stars twinkle
on the gold and silver grains of sand.
The five-colour paper strips
I have already written.
The stars twinkle,
they watch us from heaven


  1. How romantic!!
    I'm wishing that hope stays living in our hearts to carry us through the tough times.

  2. I do like the idea of writing your wishes down :) We did that on New Years.....the kids wrote their wishes....we tied the papers to a paper lantern that you light up and let it float into the night sky. Not a tradition or anything ...just something we felt like doing and the kids loved the idea as well :)

  3. What a lovely tradition....sorry about your bamboo 😃

  4. This is such a great thing to celebrate. I know so little about the customs and celebrations in other countries. Thank you for sharing

  5. Hi Pamela i have just discovered your wonderful blog,such a wonderful tradition ....

  6. A sweet story. We all have wishes. Mine are not usually materialistic, but when I was young they were!!