SF was born in Tokyo, Japan, and lived there for 10 years. She is a student at USC majoring in Business Administration. SF is in my Introduction to Music Technology class and she had a ton of Japanese folklore to share with me.
“In Japan, there’s a festival called ‘tanabata’ on July 7th. On that day each year, people say that 織姫 (orihime) and 彦星(hikoboshi), a princess and a prince who were separated by the milky way, get to reunite for just one night.”
“How did you learn about this festival? Have you taken part in it before?”
“Yeah, my parents told her about it, and I’ve also participated in it each year. You put a wish on an index card and put it on a bamboo tree.”
“Is tanabata celebrated in certain regions or cities, or is it celebrated everyhwere?”
“It’s celebrated all throughout Japan.”
It seems to be that this festival is based off of an old Japanese myth, as implied by my informant. Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to ask her the full backstory behind the origin of the festival. It is interesting to note that the festival takes place all throughout Japan, which suggests that the festival is probably quite ancient. If it was a newer tradition, the festival would probably be celebrated in select regions of Japan instead.