Sunday, July 08, 2007

Star Festival ( たなばた)

Tanabata (たなばた)is the annual Japanese festival held every year on July 7th. It celebrates the reunion of two mythical lovers. Orihime (おりひめ)was the daughter of the god of the sky and also wove clothes for the gods. Hikoboshi (ひこぼし)was the care taker of a cow herd. In the night sky they represent the stars of Vega and Altair, respectively, and they were separated by a river which was the Milky Way.

Both of the lovers normally worked very hard but, when they met, they immediately fell in love and stopped working so hard. Orihime’s father got angry about this and made them stop seeing each other. However, he eventually felt sorry for the two lovers and allowed them to see each other once a year if they worked hard.

So today, in Japan, people have been writing their own secret wishes on pieces of paper. I wonder what some of them are wishing for?

Incidentally, this is how Densha Otoko (電車おとこ), the television show with the magical Misaki Ito (伊東美咲), begins - a simple wish.

But it seems that Love is never that simple.

-Just a peasant
Photo by Sid Leach