On Tuesday, July 7, 2015, the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston, together with the Japan-America Society of Houston and the Children’s Museum of Houston, presented “Tanabata Japanese Star Festival”.
Booths were set up in the main hall of the Children’s Museum and featured make-your-own mini kamishibai activities. Kamishibai means “paper drama” and is a traditional form of Japanese storytelling. Kids and parents also enjoyed learning about Tanabata culture by writing wishes on tanzaku cards and making origami ornaments. They later hung the tanzaku cards and origami ornaments on large bamboo branches for luck, creating a beautiful and traditional Tanabata display.
A bi-lingual Japanese and English story time took place several times throughout the day as the Tanabata tale was told using real kamishibai. Guests learned the legend that two lovers named 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 evening of the 7th day of the 7th month.
Lastly, after a brief introduction of two Japaense dances, Tankobushi (Coal Miner’s Dance) and Pokemon Ondo, museum guests were invited to join in. Over 500 people came out to enjoy the Tanabata Japanese Star Festival in its fourth year at the Children’s Museum.