JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.53

~Scenery of Japan~ Sendai Tanabata Festival

Sendai Tanabata Festival

Sendai Tanabata Festival is considered one of the three major festivals of the Tohoku region and three main Tanabata festivals in Japan where over 2 million visitors come to view the festivities over the 3-day event. Tanabata Festivals, also known as the “star festivals,” are usually held on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year. The Sendai Tanabata, however, is usually held between 6–8 August of each year.

During this event, tourists get the chance to observe the city’s center decorated with various brightly colored streamers and paper decorations (origami) of many fascinating shapes. The origami represents various meaning to include: kimono is believed to ward off illness and accidents, the net symbolizes good harvests, cranes signify long life, purse embodies good business, trash baskets characterize cleanliness and finally paper strips represent good handwriting.

GSDF Camp Sendai is located approx. 4 km from downtown. Each year personnel from the North Eastern Army Band based at Camp Sendai have been instrumental in actively participating in the Sendai Tanabata Festival. Approx. 60 band members participate in the activities during the Tanabata parade.

*This article was contributed by a Mansfield fellow, Captain Wikrom Kitchaiya, USAF.

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