July 7, 2017 – Weblio Eikaiwa held a star-studded Facebook live group event for both its students and tutors. The event was hosted by Weblio’s very own office-based tutors — namely, Sheena, Kat, Faye, Danielle, and Jescil. The event kicked off in high spirits at 18:00 PST.
TANABATA: A LOVE STORY
Tanabata, in Japan, is known as the Star Festival. It is celebrated on the 7th day of the Seventh month of the lunisolar calendar (some regions in Japan celebrate it on the 7th of August).
Where did this custom begin and is there a story behind this? Romance and the stars have always been connected through various myths and legends, from Perseus and Andromeda’s tragic love affair to Orion and his endless pursuit of the Pleaides or the seven sisters. The legend behind Tanabata is no exception to this. The story behind this popular Japanese festival originated from a Chinese legend. The legend tells of a beautiful weaver girl, Orihime, who would weave beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (which is said to be represented by the Milky Way). Orihime was an extremely hard worker, her father loved the cloths she wove. Because of the overwhelming efforts Orihme gave to her job, she despaired and gave up on finding love. Her father, Tentei, did not want to see his daughter so despondent so he arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi, the cowherder who lived on the other side of the Milky Way. Orihime and Hikoboshi fell in love instantly and married. Their love and devotion for each other was so great that they neglected their respective duties, Orihime no longer wove cloths and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over the Milky Way.
As a result, Tentei became angry and separated the lovers across the Milky Way and forbade them to meet. However, Orihime pleaded her father to let them meet again. Out of his love for his daughter, Tentei agreed. He allowed them to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if she worked hard and finished her weaving.
On the first day Orihime and Hikoboshi were to be reunited, they found the Milky Way to be difficult to cross. Orihime became so sad that a flock of magpies came and made a bridge for her. It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies will not come and the two must wait until another year to meet again.
In modern Japan, Tanabata is celebrated by writing your wishes, sometimes in the form of poetry, on tanzaku (small pieces of paper) and hanging them on bamboo with decorations.
The office-based tutors here at Weblio Eikawa had four days to prepare for this event to make it special, fun, and meaningful for the tutors, the students and the guests. The hosts kicked off the talk show by discussing the origin of the Tanabata festival. Students also participated in the Facebook live event and shared some of their insights on their practices and customs during Tanabata. It was a fun and interactive event for both the students and tutors involved.
TIL WE MEET AGAIN
The event ended on an equally high note with the tutors singing the Tanabata festival song. The tutors invited the students to attend their future Facebook live events. The encounters shared by the tutors and students were brief and fleeting but the memories and insights gained through this very special event will last a long time.