On Saturday, July 5, 2014 the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston together with the Japan-America Society of Houston presented “Tanabata Japanese Star Festival,” in collaboration with the Children’s Museum of Houston.
In the main hall booths were set up featuring a Tanabata story quiz and origami crafts. Guests used stamps to spell out たなばた(Tanabata) on Japanese fans to take home. Visitors wrote their wishes on Tanzaku cards and hung them on the bamboo display. In the alcove at the end of the main hall the Tanabata story was told through Kamishibai (Japanese “paper drama”). According to legend, two lovers Orihime (the Weaving Princess Star, Vega) and Hikoboshi (the Cow Herder Star, Altair) are separated by the Milky Way and allowed to meet only once a year on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. This story is the basis for many of the traditions surrounding the Tanabata festival.
After a brief introduction of two Japanese dances, Tankobushi (Coal Miners Dance) and Pokemon Ondo, museum guests were invited to join in. Following the dancing, Deputy Consul-General Takahiko Watabe gave brief remarks and introduced the anime film that was shown, Voices of a Distant Star. Over 400 people came out to enjoy the Tanabata Japanese Festival in its third year at the Children’s Museum.