Tanabata 2009

2009 Tanabata Festival

At the Seattle Japanese Garden

July 5, 2009, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

You are invited to join the traditional practice of writing poetry and wishes on paper strips (tanzaku)

and tying them to the trees throughout the garden.

Throughout the Festival

Shoseian Tea House

Mitsuko Soko Gale and Shoseikai will present a Tanabata Chakai,

or Star Festival Tea Gathering, at 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.

(make reservations at the ticket booth)


11:00 a.m. Presentation on Japanese poetry by Michael Dylan Welch

11:30 a.m. Telling of the Tanabata Tale in the azumaya

12:30 p.m. Chiyo Sanada Demonstrates “Sho” Calligraphy

on the moon viewing platform

1:00 p.m. Poetry reading by Michael Dylan Welch: A Selection of Love Poems

from his translation of the Ogura Hyakuin Isshu: 100 Poems by 100 Poets

1:30 p.m. Telling of the Tanabata Tale in the azumaya

2:00 p.m. Miho and Diego Duo will perform in a fusion of Latin, Japanese, African, and American music,

employing the Andean Flute and Marimba in the entry courtyard

Tours of the Japanese Garden

are conducted by Unit 86 Guides

Meet a guide at the entry gate at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. for a 45-minute tour


The Tanabata Display in the Garden Entryway is by Unit-86 Volunteers.

The display of Artwork is by Unit-86 Photo Art Group in the Tateuchi Community Room.

The Textile Display is presented by Sumie Yasuda and Ayako Yamada in the Interpretive Foyer.

Ikebana arrangements are provided by Ikebana International in the Tateuchi Community Room.

Enjoy hands-on Tanabata paper crafts and calligraphy in the orchard with our Unit 86 volunteers.

The Legend of Tanabata

Long ago, on the west bank of the Milky Way, there lived a beautiful princess, Orihime. She was a skilled weaver of beautiful kimonos. Tentei, the Emperor of the sky, was very happy with her diligence and married her to a hard working herdsman Kengyu from across the Milky Way.

Kengyu and Orihime fell in love. But they spent so much time together that Orihime neglected her weaving and Kengyu allowed the livestock to stray and become frail. The emperor ordered that they be separated by the Heavenly River, the milky way.. They were allowed to meet one day a year, the 7th day of the 7th month, provided they had worked hard.

Celebrate the tradition by writing poems and wishes on paper strips (tanzaku) and tying on branches to be carried on the wind to heaven.

The Tanabata stars, Vega (weaving princess star) and Altair (sheepherder star) are visible in the night sky during the time of the Tanabata festival.