Green Shinto has carried several reports about Tanabata over the years, and an overview of previous posts can be found here. One of the most interesting accounts we’ve come across is by neopagan Shintoist Megan Manson.
Tanabata is a folk festival, celebrated widely across Japan and involving wishes hung on bamboo branches in celebration of ‘star-lovers’ which get to meet once a year. Last year Green Shinto friend Isil Bayraktar reported for us on a specifically Shinto event held for the occasion at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. It is centred around children, and Isil was impressed by the colour and performances. As is clear from the pictures, the occasion was carried out with typical attention to aesthetic appeal and honouring ancestral spirits. The patron deity of learning, Sugawara no Michizane, would surely be beaming with delight.
(All photos by Isil Bayraktar.)