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Nakayama is in between Narita And Haneda International Airport

中山・下総・散歩道

Orihime / The Story Of Tanabata And Orihime

Orihime is called the Weaving Princess in English, and Tanabata si the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. The day of Tanabata, Orihime could only meet her husband Kengyu (the Cowherd) in this day. Orihima is the heroine appears on the legend of Tanabata, so the story of Tanabata is a kind of a romantic love story in the ancinet time. In the story Tanabata in Japan and China, Vega in Lyra, is known as Orihimeboshi (Shokujo Sei; the Weaver Star) and Altair in Aquila, is known as Hikoboshi (Kengyu Sei; the Cowherd Star).

Now Tanabata is the event or festival held everywhere in Japan since ancient ages.
July 7th night, by writing wishes on Tanzaku paper (strips of colored paper) and hanging them on bamboo branches is the way of enjoying the festival throughout Japan. Especially children write their dreams on them.
There are several original stories of beginning Tanabata festival in Japna. In general, Tanabata festival is build up the combination of the legend of Orihime, a Shinto ritual 'Tanabata' and Kikkoden fair from China in Nara Period.

The Shinto ritual Tanabata is the old purification ceremony in Japan. A young lady weaves clothes and dedicates them on the shelf. And she welcomes gods to wish rich harvests and remove impurities on people. The young girl selected to the ceremony was called 'Tanabatatsume', she weaves the clothes to gods in her best. The loom used by Tanabatatsume was called 'Tanabata'. The ceremony is named after the loom. After Buddhism spread in Japan, the ceremony was held in July 7th night as it became the preparation of the Bon festival (the Buddhist All Souls' Day).

The legend of Tanabata story is a love story between Orihime and Hikoboshi. Vega in Lyra, is known as Orihimeboshi (Shokujo Sei; the Weaver Stra) in Japan and China, and Altair in Aquila, is known as Hikoboshi (Kengyu Sei; the Cowherd Star). Both of the stars look very clear at the night in Tanabata, therefore the story that the couple could meet once a year in this day was made.
Orihime who was a daughter of Tentei (the Emperor in the Sky) lived on the east bank of Amanogawa River (the Milky Way), she was allowed to marry Hikoboshi respected by her on the west bank. As their married life was so happy, but soon after they married, Orihime ceased to weave cloth and Hikoboshi ceased to raise cows .Then she was forced to return to the east bank because her discontinuation of weaving after the marriage angered her father, who then allowed her to meet him only once a year. However, if July 7 was a rainy day and the volume of water of the river increased, Orihime couldn't cross the bridge and Hikoboshi couldn't meet her.

Kikkoden is an event for girls to wish to be good at handcraft and sewing held on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. The ceremony brought from China in Nara period, and connected to the Tanamaba ceremony.

In Heian Period, the story was introduced in Japan, the Tanabata ceremony was held at the Imperial Palace. In Edo period, the Tanabata Festival has spread around the common people, and it became the festival to wish to the stars.


参考
デジタル大辞林
ブリタニカ国際大百科事典
日本大百科全書(ニッポニカ)
市川市ホームページ
ウィッキペディア

The Tanabata Festival In Ichikawa City

There are several Tanabata Festivals held in Ichikawa City, in this part, they will be introduced .
  • Tanabata Festival at Zoo in Ichikawa ( Ichikawa-shi Doushokubutsuen)

※ Please check them!