Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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July 30, 2016

“Tanabata” Japanese Star Festival  (July 7, 2016)

On Thursday, July 7, 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.

Six booths were set up in the main hall of the Children’s Museum and featured a make-your-own mini kamishibai activity. 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 colorful tanzaku wish cards and paper ornaments on large bamboo branches for luck, creating a beautiful traditional Tanabata display. In response to a participant’s request from the previous year, this year the advanced origami booth was brought back so that participants who wanted to challenge themselves could try their hand at creating more complicated origami creations.

In addition to the crafts, a bi-lingual Japanese and English story time took place several times throughout the day telling the Tanabata tale using real kamishibai. Guests learned the legend of the two lovers: Orihime (the Weaving Princess Star, Vega) and Hikoboshi (the Cow Herder Star, Altair) that 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. A large audience enjoyed a Japanese dance performance by Showing Japan members elegantly dressed in kimono. Many viewers recorded the performance with their phones. Lastly, guests were invited to join in and dance two Japanese dances, the Tankobushi (Coal Miner’s Dance) and Pokemon Ondo.

Over 500 people came out to enjoy the Tanabata Japanese Star Festival in its fifth year at the Children’s Museum of Houston.







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