Yesterday was Tanabata, the one day of the year that the lovers the Weaver Star and Herder Star can meet in the sky. Children – and adults – all over Japan write wishes on rectangles of paper (tanzaku) and hang them on young bamboo trees. If the sky is clear and the lovers can meet, the wishes will come true.

Lsat year, Jio wrote, very sweetly, that he hopes to become a baseball player on his father’s high school team. This year, to my dismay, he wrote that he wants to become rich. When did my sweet little boy become materialistic?? I guess I should stop saying that we can’t afford this and that, and his father should stop going on about how poor we are. And we can talk about how rich we are in other areas. We can enjoy the cultures of two countries!

Lilia wrote that she wants to learn lots of sign language and finish her school lunch faster. Her teacher suggested these things, and she liked the idea. She’s very social, so it sounds like she does more “talking” than eating.

At any rate, it was cloudy last night, so Jio shouldn’t be expecting his bank account to fill up any time soon.


6 thoughts on “Tanabata

  1. What a lovely ritual and how excited the kids must have been to make their wishes. I love hearing about customs and traditions from other countries. Thanks for sharing!

  2. So was the sky clear?

    This reminds me of the lovers in Murakami’s _Kafka on the Shore_.

    Seems to me that wanting to be rich is something that filters into us on a subliminal level. I know American media is full of those messages. What about Japanese media?

    Cute story.
    See, Sue, I do read your blog…
    you know me, always trying to be better about these things.

  3. I didn’t know you’d been reading Murakami!

    It was cloudy. Jio lamented the fact that he hadn’t become rich yet. He aspires to get us on this TV show where three people in a family hide in their house and some TV “talents” dressed up in costume have 30 minutes to find them. If the celebrities lose at this game of hide and seek, the family wins a million yen!

  4. Thirty minutes for hide and seek? Wow. They only get sixty seconds in my house. Do the celebrities ever actually WIN? That seems so… easy. Do they, like, disguise themselves as furniture or what??

    And: I always remember the Tanabata festival from “Big Bird in Japan.” 🙂

  5. The celebrities have 30 minutes to hunt for the hiders, which is quite a bit of time. They usually find everyone. One time, this family was on the verge of winning and the remaining hidden kid thought he’d been found, so he said something, like “you found me.” They would have won otherwise! Dang!

    Some families set up traps, and in some houses there is just so much stuff that the celebrities have to get through.

    Our house has this intriguing L-shaped closet that might make a good hiding place. We could set up a fake wall…

  6. When I was a child, my father used to trick me. After looking a little while, knowing my eagerness to be found, he’d call out “where are you hiding?” And I’d usually reply with something like “in the closet!”

    I have always been so gullible.

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