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Alignment of stars tells future and good fortune

Date Posted: 2004-07-10

For those who believe in the power of horoscopes, Wednesday was an auspicious day.

Two powerful stars, Altair and Vega, met yesterday in a once a year travel across the universe, and for those who believe in mythology, the event signifies what could become true.

Japanese are believers, and Okinawans are at the forefront, with Buddhist altars at homes, and celebrations set for many religious events honoring ancestors, offering daily prayers and paying homage to the past.

July 7th was the day of the Tanabata Matsuri, the Star Festival, a time when Japanese believe that if you make a wish for what you want to be, the stars will make your dream come true. That is why every children’s school, kindergarten, elementary school and even nursery schools held special ceremonies.

They bring bamboo trees and tree branches upon which their wishes are hung, and then offer up prayers for success, and dance, sing and east. The bamboo tree is significant in Japanese symbology, because the trees are strong, withstanding even typhoons. Bamboo never falls down and always grows straight up without bending.

Accordingly, Japanese and Okinawans believe that life’s lesson should follow the same path.

This year’s festival was a bit different, as a kindergarten located in Naha visited the Tsubogawa monorail station, a train station with the same name as their school. The children were invited by the monorail station boss, Eisaku Kishimoto.

“We set up the bamboo tree at our station, so would you children please come to the station and hang the wishes on the tree,” Kishimoto wrote. “We would like all children and citizens to use the open space of our station, making it a more friendship station. We would like citizens to feel at home and enjoy the all seasons festival too.”

The station set another bamboo tree for adults, too, and invited monorail riders to hang their wishes upon it.

Another place which held the Tamabata Matsuri, the Star Festival, was Naha Airport. Organized by Japan Air Line Company, there were 11 different locations for bamboo trees and celebration. The trees will be in place at the airport until July 15th, and at the Tsubogawa Monorail Station until July 16th.

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