Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Well tonight, most Japanese will likely gaze into the night sky, trying to catch a glimpse of two particular stars:
Kengyu Boshi (牽牛星) aka. Cowherd Star / Hikoboshi / Altair
Shokujo Boshi (織女星) aka. Weaver Star / Orihime / Vega
According to Chinese legend, these two were a couple so in love that they neglected their respective jobs (i.e. weaving and cow-herding). As a result, this angered the heavenly king (Vega’s father) and he issued an extremely harsh punishment (in my opinion) by separating them with the Milky Way. Only once in a year on the night of July 7th, flocks of magpies form a bridge across the heavenly river for the “star-crossed” lovers to reunite.
Since Edo period (1600-1868), the Japanese celebrate the lovers’ reunion annually and call it the Star Festival (Tanabata / 七夕). Several days before the event, folks especially with their youngsters will write their wishes onto strips of colored paper, and hang them onto bamboo branches along with origami and other fanciful paper decorations. The adorned bamboo branch is called Sasa kazari (笹飾り), which is kind of like a dressed up Christmas tree in Summer.
Our Tanzaku (短冊 / long narrow cards with poems or wishes),
on our makeshift Sasa kazari (笹飾り / Tanabata’s Bamboo decoration).
I did an Etegami (Picture Postcard) for Tanabata, with a cow weaving.
Message: Konya wa Orihime to Hikoboshi no kyujitsu desu.
(Orihime and Hikoboshi having their day off tonight).
Btw, this etegami is totally done digitally with my new toy –
the Wacom Bamboo Comic. Not too bad for a first attempt, right?
Japanese Annual Events (Main Page)