On July 8th a Tanabata festival was held at The Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight. Volunteers from the Japan Society North West and JETAA helped with the activities in the gallery. These were mainly aimed at children but many adults were interested too. We explained the meaning of Tanabata and then made paper lanterns and chains...
There were lots of origami stars made and people also wrote their wishes on tanzaku and tied them on bamboo sticks.
I was pleased to see so many British people getting interested in Tanabata because I think the story of Orihime and Hikoboshi reflects modern Japanese life in some ways. As the event also attracted Japanese people living in the area, it was great for us JETAA members to not only talk about Japan but also hear how Japanese feel about life in the UK. We were able to relate to each other quite well. I made some new Japanese friends due to this and so, on a personal level, I really felt happy after the event.
The reason the gallery put on this Japanese event is because it currently houses a collection of Japanese woodblock prints which are exhibited under the title "Edo Pop". I was lucky enough to help install this exhibition, and I am pleased to say that the exhibition curator has agreed to do a talk about the woodblock prints for JETAA NW towards the end of the year. If you can't wait that long though,
As usual, we had a fantastic time at this event and can't wait for our next one in August, which we hope you will join us for as we plan to make it a fun, summery get-together.
Thank you for reading. I hope you all had a great Tanabata and that the wishes you made that day come true.
Kind regards, Corrina Ellis - North West Chapter Chair