Lovers Meet in Heaven for July 7 Tanabata Festival

Off the Top of My Head

By Paul Murray

Last night at Rongo Backpackers & Gallery in Karamea at the top of the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand  we’ll have a Pot-Luck Dinner to celebrate the Japanese Tanabata Festival where on the 7th night of the 7th month young lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi are allowed to meet and physically consummate their feelings for each other….WOOF!

Luckily, it didn’t rain!

Here’s the story….

Orihime (織姫 Weaving Princess), daughter of the Tentei (天帝 Sky King), wove beautiful cloth by the bank of the Amano River (天の川 Milky Way, lit. “heavenly river”). Her father, a tailor, used the cloth to make clothes. He loved the cloth she wove and she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone.

Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi (彦星 Cow Herder) who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter.

However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again. Tentei was moved by his daughter’s tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if she worked hard and finished her weaving.

The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orihime cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river.

It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet.

We have a Yukako Japanese lady staying with us at the moment and she made a little Tanabata story for the kids.
Tentei, a tailor and father of a young lass called Orihime, was worried that his daughter was lonely and didn’t have a man, so he introduced her to a young cattle herder called Hikoboshi…a chain of events ensued that is remembered in Japan to this day….
It was love at first sight for the young couple and they gradually got to know each other better and better….
The young couple were soon consumed by their love for each other and began to neglect their duties…Orihime’s loom fell into disrepair and Hikoboshi’s cattle died…
The King was VERY angry…and banished the young lovers to a lonely life…
The King ordered the couple to live either side of the Milky Way where they could see each other, but have no physical contact….

Every year, on the night of July 7, a bridge magically appears over the Milky Way and the young lovers can meet and feel each other’s touch…but they must retreat to their respective sides by day break…to spend another lonely 364 days of solitude with visual contact only…as their sexual tension slowly escalates until the following 7th day of July…..



Diva Murray (left) and Yukako Kiyama

About LivinginPeaceProject

Paul Murray is the founder of the LivinginPeace Project. Paul originally from Australia, but have been living in New Zealand for 14 years. Before that he was in Japan for a decade working as a journalist. He met his wife Sanae in Japan and they married in 2008.
This entry was posted in Children, Culture, Education, Funny, Historical, Japan, Karamea, LivinginPeace Project, New Zealand, Paul Murray, Photography, Rongo, Rongo Backpackers & Gallery, South Island, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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