Tag Archives: star festival

Japan meets India meets Mexico

7 Jul

Today is 「七夕」 (“Tanabata“).

(Click here to read my short FAQ about this holiday.)

「七夕」 (“Tanabata“) is on the seventh day of the seventh month (July 7) and the name literally translates to “Seventh evening”, but the English translation of the holiday’s name is “Star Festival“.

On this holiday, people in Japan write a wish for the future on a piece of paper and tie it to a bamboo tree.

Today both Yahoo Japan and Google Japan incorporated a 「七夕」 (“Tanabata“) design into their logos.

"Google Japan" Tanabata logo


The Japanese fast-food chain “MOS Burger” is currently offering a 「ナン・タコス」 (“Indian Nan-bread Taco”) and 「ナン・チョリソカレー」 (“Indian Nan-Bread with Mexican Choziro-sausage and Curry”).

Each for ¥360.

Seventh Evening

7 Jul

Today is 七夕 (Tanabata)…which translates to something like “Seventh evening“.

You can read a little bit about this holiday on my website’s FAQ page.

This holiday came to Japan from China and falls on the seventh day of the seventh month…July 7 on the Western calendar (which Japan uses now), or in late August if you use the Chinese calendar.

Most of Japan celebrates this holiday on July 7…but some cities celebrate it on the date according to the Chinese calendar.

Basically, the story of 七夕 (Tanabata) is that there are a couple of stars on different sides of the sky and they are a couple in love…and the only day in the year that these two stars are near each other is on the seventh day of the seventh month.
So, on this day the couple’s wish comes true and they can be together…for an evening.

For this reason, 七夕 (Tanabata) is sometimes called “The Star Festival“.

I’m not sure how 七夕 (Tanabata) is celebrated in China, but here in Japan people write a wish on a piece of paper and tie it to a bamboo tree (along with other 七夕 (Tanabata) decorations).
And just like the couple’s wish comes true…if you tie your wish to the tree, it’ll come true too.


There are also 七夕 (Tanabata) festivals all around Japan…some on July 7 and some in August.

The biggest 七夕 (Tanabata) festival on July 7 is in Kanagawa, south of Tokyo.
And the biggest one in August (this year (2009), it’ll be on August 26) is in Sendai.

I have been to the 七夕 (Tanabata) festival near my house a number of times…but I didn’t go this year.

Have you ever been to a 七夕 (Tanabata) festival?
Did you tie your wish to a bamboo tree branch today?


7 Jul

Today is 七夕 (Tanabata).

I mentioned Tanabata in a earlier blog post here.

And I wrote a short FAQ entry about it here.

Tanabata is usually translated into English as “Star Festival“…but the two Japanese Kanji characters that make up the word “Tanabata” literally mean “Seven evenings”.

It’s kinda difficult to explain how this name came about, but the holiday is celebrated on 7th of July (7/7).

In Japan, it is popular for holidays to fall on dates that are the same number for the day and month.

March 3 (3/3), May 5 (5/5), July 7 (7/7), and October 10 (10/10) are all holidays in Japan.

Our Tanabata wish is that our kids do well in school and have happy, healthy lives!


Also, the leaders of the G-8 countries (Japan, America, Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and Russia) are in 北海道 (Hokkaido), Japan for the beginning of the G-8 Summit.

By the way, about fifteen years ago, my wife and I took a short vacation in Hokkaido and stayed in the same town that the G-8 summit was at in Toyako, Hokkaido.

It’s a very nice place. I recommend visiting there if you ever have a chance.

I have been to Hokkaido one other time. I went to Sapporo in February 1991 for the annual 雪祭 (Snow Festival). That’s a great festival!


29 Jun

Next week is 七夕 (Tanabata).
Click here to read my short FAQ post about “Tanabata”.

The shopping street near our house has begun to decorate for it a couple days ago. They put up bamboo trees, paper lanterns, and other decorations. The local school children will write their wishes on a piece of paper to be tied to the trees.

Here’s a picture I took of the decorated street:

We’ll put a bamboo tree on our porch next week, as we do every year…and my kids, my wife and I will attach papers with our wishes written on them.

My wife and I always write the same thing: that our kids will have a happy, healthy life.


Yesterday at lunchtime, a comedian who is starting to become popular was scheduled to perform at a store not too far from where we live.

We planned to go watch him…but we all woke up too late to get there on time, so we went to our kids’ favorite shopping mall instead.

But it started me thinking of famous people that I’ve met on the streets of Tokyo.

I met and talked to:
乙武 洋匡 (Ototake Hirotada) (an author who became a school teacher, who was born without arms or legs),

Eric Singer (the American drummer who was in many bands including KISS),

Bruce Kulick (the American guitarist who was also in KISS),

Carmine Appice (another American drummer. He’s called “Carmine Sensei” in Japan)…I helped design his website also,

Eddie Van Halen,

Sean Lennon (John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s son),

and 琴欧洲 Kotooshu (the Bulgarian Sumo wrestler).

Have you ever met a celebrity?


We have a pet turtle.

His name is 亀吉くん (Kamekichi).

It’s fun to watch him eat. I took a video of it (it’s not a real clear video and he’s not eating as ferociously as he usually does 😦 Maybe I’ll take a new video of him another day.)