七夕祭り

So I know I’ve been a bit behind schedule, but that’s just because of all the awesome things that have been going on that I get to write about now! 

In Japan, they have this lil’ old festival known as 七夕祭り (tanabata matsuri), which is celebrated in Hakodate (my neck of the woods) in a very similar sense to Halloween, the only noticeable difference being the songs and that the varied costumes of youths in America are replaced by Kimono’s and Yuugata’s (all about that in Japan). There are other, perhaps more culturally distinguished customs of 七夕祭り such as decorating the Tanabata tree or tying slips of paper with your wishes written on them to said festive tree, but tradition pales in comparison to the exciting prospect of receiving candy for merely reciting a 5 line song. 

たけにたんざく

七夕祭り

おおいにいわおう

ろうそく一本

ちょうだいな

Although it was only 6PM, the first of the troops of young stylishly dressed children were at our door, and of course the first thing they drop as they come into MY house is 外国人. But what are you going to do about some kids. They sang their song, were stupefied by my ability to convey in relatively grammatically correct Japanese that they could only take 2 from one bowl, and 1 from the other, and then were back out on the street telling all of their friends about the fushigi foreigner’s residence. 

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After providing moderate entertainment for the children of Nanaehama, my host parents suggested that I go over to our neighbor’s to participate in Tanabata, and given that the oldest kids who participate are around 10 years old (maybe 13 tops if they can pull off looking REALLY adorable), I knew something was up. Although Katsumi took a video of my first Tanabata outing, the file formatting was not agreeing with my mac or any other computer in the house for that matter, so it is still trapped on the old school camcorder used to record my awkward ringing of the doorbell, making nervous jokes (thankfully EVERYONE laughs at jokes in Japan except that clerk at the コンビニ when I dropped my 研究するために), and finally my singing of the Tanabata song. While it’s normal for houses to give out small candies the same as American houses for Halloween, after I finish my song, Kouji tells me to wait a sec, goes into the kitchen, and comes out with a huge box of シュークリーム(these really awesome cream puffs). On the day of my run in with the cops, after I came back shaken to the BBQ, Kouji’s mother had asked me what I liked and I instantly responded with シュークリーム(cause their 最高), and here she was gifting me a box of maybe 5 of them, which was insane since I’d had one conversation with the woman.

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The picture formatting is a little funky, but you get the idea. I’ve got a ton more to write, but unfortunately, it’s presently Bedtime for Bonzo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zHN4vCfwh4 

 

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