On Saturday, July 7, 2012, the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston presented Make a Wish! “Tanabata” Japanese Star Festival, in collaboration with one of the leading centers for children’s education in America, the Children’s Museum of Houston. With the help of many volunteers, we had the opportunity to introduce Houstonians to Japanese culture and sensibilities through Tanabata traditions.
Over 500 people stopped by the activity tables set up in the museum’s main hall to write their wish on tanzaku cards and fold origami ornaments to hang on the bamboo tree. Japanese students from the Japanese Educational Institute of Houston dressed in yukata (summer kimono) also attended the event.
At the library inside the Children’s Museum, many children enjoyed kamishibai performances (Japanese storytelling) that told the tale of Orihime (the Weaving Princess, the star Vega) and Hikoboshi (the Cow Herder Star, Altair). The tale teaches the importance of pursuing our dreams, while not forgetting to appreciate those around us. To conclude the event, Showing Japan performed traditional Japanese dance in the Brown Auditorium. The audience joined the Japanese volunteer dancers on stage to dance the final number, So-ran bushi.
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