Although the story of Tanabata was brought to Japan from China more than a thousand years ago, over time it was adapted by the Japanese storytellers and mixed with the local traditions, becoming a traditional Japanese story.
Today, the celebration of Tanabata begins in Japan, so let us remember this beautiful story…
Orihime, the daughter of the god Tentei, was weaving clothes (Orihime can be translated as “weaving princess”) on the shores of the Amanogawa river. Her father arranged her marriage with a shepherd named Hikoboshi, who was living on the other side of the river and soon, the two lovers were happily living together.
But now, Orihime, was preoccupied by her new life and was less interested in the weaving. Angered, Tentei separated them and allowed them to cross the river to see each other only one day per year, on the 7th day of the 7th month…
Traditionally, Orihime is the star Vega, from the Lyra constellation, Hikoboshi is the star Altair from the Aquila constellation and the river separating them is the Milky Way.
It is said that if Orihime doesn’t finish her work, Tentei will make the day rainy and the two lovers will not be able to cross the river and meet. So people are praying these days for good weather and to honor the two lovers, the streets from Japan are decorated with vivid colored papers, like in this photo from Kappabashi Street, Asakusa, Tokyo…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: