From About.com - "Tanabata is a Japanese tradition wherein people write thier wishes on tanzaku papers (colorful, small strips of papers) and hang them on bamboo branches. People also decorate bamboo branches with various kinds of paper decorations and place them outside their houses. The most common decorations are colorful streamers. Streamers are said to symbolize the weaving of threads. Others are toami (casting net), which means good luck for fishing and farming and kinchaku (hand bag), which means wealth."
This weekend is Tanabata Festival in Misawa. Akiko san gave us a bamboo pole last year and explained the festival. The wishes/ prayers n Japanese culture are not oft directed to the One True and Living God.....but it is a holiday we can enjoy. I find it fun to take the time to write our wishes out in the form of prayers on colorful papers and display them.
Local businesses make giant decorations to hang outside their businesses.
This year's winner.
Back side - that may be the date of the big quake/tsunami?
It was right along here that we had the 6.5 earthquake.....we noted the wind stopped, but didn't really note anything else. Evidently, most others did. I think we're getting immune.
Booths line White Pole road with "food on a stick"....we do love festival food. It's a great way to try lots of new things in one day.
"Old Style" Ice cream - more like slushy in a cone
SO good...beef stew in a roll....I got the name of the cafe from the booth and hope to find this on a more regular basis.
Chocolate cake doughnuts seem to be the big family hit
Two years ago he couldn't use chopsticks...now he can balance the tray, use chopsticks and walk at the same time....smiling for the camera is a stretch.
No clue - looked like a pancake and tasted like giyosa
Nikuman - or in the Philippines Cio pao
A highlight for us was making contact with the pastor at the little white church on the corner.....who knew it could be so easy. Poor Arielle has to come with Michael and I every time we make forays as she is the best Japanese speaker we have in our house. This has really forced her to get out of her shell.
It's the first day of the Japanese "School Holiday," this seems to be a great reason to get out in the sun, walk with family and friends and enjoy some festival food. I haven't a clue about the orange lines.