我が家の七夕

Wagaya no Tanabata;
Our Star Festival Experience

 

七夕の最も古い記憶は幼稚園での七夕祭りです。短冊に書いた願い事は忘れてしまいましたが、友達と一緒に色紙で竹飾りを作ったことははっきりと覚えています。先生がはさみを器用に使い色紙で作ってくれた「網」に感動しました。完成した竹飾りと果物や野菜をお供えしました。七夕の歌「たなばたさま」を歌い、記念写真を撮ってもらいました。そして自分達の作った小さな笹飾りを誇らしげに家に持ってかえりました。

My oldest memory of Tanabata (the Star Festival) is from my preschool days. I forgot my wishes that I wrote on a tanzaku (a long narrow strip of colored paper), but I clearly remember that my friends and I made some ornaments with colored paper. I admired my teacher for cleverly making a “net” with scissors and a piece of colored paper. When we finished making Take-kazari (Tanabata bamboo decorations), we offered Take-kazari, fruits and vegetables. We sang a Tanabata song “Tanabata-sama” together, and we took a commemorative photo. We went home proudly with the the take-kazari that we made.

大人になり翻訳事務所と英語教室を開くと、毎年外国人講師や生徒さん達と七夕祭りを行います。七夕について英語で習い、七夕の思い出を語り合い、短冊に願い事を書きます。その時の皆の願いが叶っていればいいなと思います。そして七夕の歌「たなばたさま」を皆で英訳して歌ったこともありました。

When I became older, I opened a translation office and an English school. Every year I held a Tanabata festival with foreign teachers and students. We learned and talked about Tanabata and wrote our wishes on tanzakus in English. I wish their wishes would have come true. We also translated a Tanabata song, “Tanabata-sama” into English and sung together.

七夕の日が近づくと、あちこちのスーパーマーケットやホームセンターなどの商業施設や商店街で竹飾りを見ることができます。短冊が用意されていることもあり、訪れた人は自由にお星様への願い事を書くことができます。どんな願い事をしても構いませんが、多くの幼い子供は将来の夢を書き、学生は成績向上や受験合格を願うことがあります。若い女性は恋愛成就やダイエットの成功を願うことがよくあります。中高年の人は健康を願う傾向にあります。幼く可愛らしい文字で、「おかあさんがやさしくなりますように」とか「いぬがかえるおいえにひっこせますように」と書かれた短冊もあり、思わず微笑んでしまいました。

Take-kazari are seen in many commercial facilities such as supermarkets, DIY stores and on shopping streets when Tanabata is drawing near. Customers can sometimes freely write their wishes on the “Stars” on tanzaku which the stores prepare. Though we can write any wish, many young children write about their dreams, and students sometimes wish to improve their grades or pass entrance examinations. Young women often pray for fulfillment in love or success in losing weight. Middle-aged and elderly people tend to ask for continued health. I unintentionally smiled when I found tanzakus which were written, “I wish Mother will be nicer to me” and “I want to move to a house where I can have a dog” in cute childish letters.

増上寺は東京都港区芝公園内にある、1393年(明徳4年)創建の浄土宗のお寺です。徳川家の菩提寺で、二代将軍秀忠、六代将軍家宣、七代将軍家継、九代将軍家重、十二代将軍家慶、十四代将軍家茂の墓所です。毎年7月7日には七夕祭りが開催されています。大殿と東京タワーを背景に、ライトアップされた色とりどりの七夕飾りは幻想的な情景でした。

Zojo-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Jodo-Shu sect (the Pure Land sect) in Shiba Park, Minato Ward, Tokyo, founded in 1393 (Meitoku 4th yr). This is the Tokugawa Shogunate Family’s temple, and there are graves of the 2nd Shogun Hidetada, the 6th Shogun Ienobu, the 7th Shogun Ietsugu, the 9th Shogun Ieshige, the 12th Shogun Ieyoshi and the 14th Shogun Iemochi. Tanabata-matsuri is held there every year on July 7th. Colorful Take-kazari which were floodlit with the Tokyo Tower and the main temple building in the background created a very illusory atmosphere.

東京都台東区の合羽橋通りは、飲食店で必要なものが生鮮食料品以外なら何でも揃う商店街です。最近は一般の人や、外国人観光客の姿もよく見かけます。私も大好きな街なので、よく出かけて、ワクワクしながら買い物します。合羽橋から上野までのかっぱ橋本通りでは「下町七夕まつり」が毎年開催されています。1.2km続く通りには、色鮮やかな七夕飾りや提灯が並び七夕気分を盛り上げてくれます。 期間中の土日にはパレード、様々なパフォーマンス、模擬店などを楽しむことができます。

Kappabashi in Taito Ward, Tokyo is a popular shopping street with many shops supplying any and all restaurant items with the exception of perishable foods. Nowadays, many general customers and foreign tourists also visit this shopping street. I love this street and I often excitedly go shopping there.
“Shitamachi Tanabata-matsuri” (the Downtown Tanabata Festival) is held along Kappa-bashi Main Street from Kappa-bashi to Ueno every year. Colorful take-kazari and lanterns along the 1.2km street make Tanabata more exciting. On Saturday and Sunday during the festival, people enjoy parades, various performances and food stalls.

東京都豊島区の巣鴨でも小規模ながら七夕祭りが開催されます。「おばあちゃんの原宿」(原宿は若い人、特に女の子にとても人気がある活気のある街です)と呼ばれて、特に年配の人達に人気がある巣鴨地蔵通商店街は七夕飾りで彩られます。2007年(平成19年)から商店街組合により、同時期に朝顔まつりも開催されています。とげぬき地蔵尊で有名な高岩寺の前には朝顔の鉢が販売されます。

Tanabata-matsuri is held in Sugamo in Toshima Ward, Tokyo every year, even though it is a small-scale festival. Tanabata-kazaris are displayed along the Sugamo Jizo-dori Shopping Street, which is especially popular among the senior citizens as “Grandmas’ Harajuku” (Harajuku is a very lively and popular area, especially among young girls). Since 2007 (Heisei 19th yr), this shopping street association has held Asagao-matsuri (the morning glory festival) at the same time. Pots of morning glories are sold in front of the Kogan-ji Temple which is famous for Togenuki-Jizo-son.

神田明神は730年(天平2)創建で、「江戸総鎮守」として将軍を始め、武士から庶民に至るまでの幅広い人々の間で信仰を集めました。現代も千代田区の108の町会の総氏神様で、毎年5月には江戸三大祭りの一つである神田祭が、現代の粋な「江戸っ子」達によって開催されています。例年七夕祭では、参拝者が書いた短冊を社殿前の笹に結びつけ、心願成就の神事が行われます。2010年(平成22)7月、七夕の数日前に夫が神田明神に会社の同僚達と行きました。とても暑い日でしたが、和装の花嫁さんと花婿さんが七夕飾りの下で記念写真を撮っていたそうです。七夕はロマンチックなお祭りなので、新婚さんにはぴったりだと思います。

Kanda-myojin Shrine was founded in 730 (Tempyo 2nd yr) and was worshiped by people of any rank: the shoguns, warriors and ordinary people as “Edo-sochinju” (the main local shrine of Edo, the former name of Tokyo). This shrine is still the main guardian deity of 108 town block associations in Chiyoda Ward. Kanda-matsuri Festival, one of the main Edo festivals, is held in May every year by the stylish “Edokko” (native people of Edo or Tokyo). Tanabata-matsuri Festival is also held every year, the tanzakus which worshipers wrote are tied to bamboo grass in front of the main building of the shrine, and a Shinto ritual is held for the fulfillment of worshipers’ earnest wishes. In 2010 (Heisei 22nd yr), my husband visited the shrine with his colleagues several days before Tanabata. A bride and bridegroom who were dressed in Japanese traditional costume had their photos taken under the Tanabata-kazari though it was a very hot day. Tanabata was suited to the newly married couple.

東京都杉並区阿佐谷周辺の商店街で、毎年月遅れの8月7日とその前後の合計5日間、「阿佐ヶ谷七夕まつり」が開催されています。こちらの七夕飾りは笹飾り、吹き流し、くす玉飾りなどお馴染みのものだけでなく、人気のあるキャラクター、話題の人物や出来事などの大きな「はりぼて飾り」がよく知られています。フラダンス、お笑い、落語、音楽などのショーが開催されています。商店街に沿ってずらっと並ぶ露天をひやかすのも楽しいです。私は2009年(平成21年)8月に初めて行きました。うだるような暑ささえも七夕を盛り上げる盛況ぶりで、商店街はまるで満員電車の中のようでした。「はりぼて飾り」は力作揃いで、子供のように心が踊りました。

“Asagaya Tanabata-matsuri” (Asagaya Tanabata Festival) is held on the shopping streets in Asagaya, Suginami Ward, Tokyo for 5 days centering on August 7th which is 1 month later than the general Tanabata day, July 7th.The famous Tanabata decorations of this festival are papier-mâché known as “Haribote-kazari” in the shapes of popular cartoon characters, people and events in the news as well as common Tanabata decorations such as Take-kazari, Fukinagashi (colorful streamers) and Kusudama-kazari (ornamental paper balls). We can enjoy some programs of entertainments such as hula, comic shows, rakugo (Japanese traditional comic-storytelling performances) and music shows. Looking around so many stalls along the shopping streets is also a lot of fun. It was in August 2009 (Heisei 21st yr) that I went to this festival for the first time. The festival seemed to be a great success as if the sweltering heat had made people more excited. The shopping streets were so crowed as well as packed trains. I pleasantly looked at great works of “Haribote-kazari” as a little child did.

2012年に再び「阿佐ヶ谷七夕まつり」にでかけました。今回は息子と、愛犬のふーちゃんとおーちゃんに浴衣を着せて一緒に行きました。ふーちゃんとおーちゃんは多くの人に可愛いと褒めてもらい、頭を撫でられたり、写真を撮ってもらったりもしました。ふーちゃんもおーちゃんも人混みに少し驚いた様子でしたが、屋台の焼き鳥や焼きそばの匂いに惹かれたのか、うきうきしながら歩いていました。

In August I visited “Asagaya Tanabata-matsuri” again and that time I took my son and two beloved dogs of ours, Fu-chan and Oh-chan which were dressed in yukata (Japanese cotton kimono for summer). They were praised and described as, “Cute!” by many people. Some people patted their heads and took their photos. At first, both looked surprised but later walked happily, maybe because they were drawn by the good smell of yaki-tori (grilled chicken on sticks) and yaki-soba (fried noodles with meat and vegetables in a Japanese style).

大阪市天王寺区にある四天王寺の七夕祭り「七夕のゆうべ」に行って来ました。鎮魂灯火、星空観望会、コンサートなど様々なイベントが行われ、多くの食べ物の屋台も出ていました。多くの人の願いがこもった七夕飾りは、3日間の祭りの最終日の夜に、僧侶によってお焚き上げされました。四天王寺は7世紀初期に聖徳太子によって建立されたと伝わる寺院です。落雷、兵火、台風、そして第二次世界大戦時の空襲などのため、再建が繰り返されました。現在の建物は鉄筋コンクリート構造で1963年(昭和38年)以降に次々と建てられたものですが、飛鳥時代(593-694)の建築様式を保っています。

I went to “Tanabata-no-yube” (the Star Festival at Night) held in Shitenno-ji Temple in Tennoji Ward, Osaka Ctiy. Various events were held such as requiem lights, star observations and concerts, and there were many food stalls. On the last day of the three-day festival, Take-kazari were burnt by Buddhist priests reciting sutras. It is said that Shitenno-ji Temple was built by Shotoku Taishi (Prince Shotoku) at the beginning of the 7th century. The temple has been rebuilt repeatedly because of strikes of lightning, fires of civil wars, typhoons and aerial attacks during World War ll. In and after 1963 (Showa 38th yr), the existing temple buildings made of reinforced concrete were built one after another, and they still have an architectural style of the Asuka Period (593-694).

大阪市北区の梅田スカイビル地下1階にある滝見小路では、活気ある昭和(1926-1989)初期の街並みが再現されています。当時の姿の食堂、店舗、郵便局、神社、交番などがあります。滝見小路で昭和レトロな七夕祭りを楽しんできました。夕食を食べた食堂で願い事を書くための短冊をもらいました。

Takimi Koji on the first basement floor of the Umeda Sky Building in Kita Ward, Osaka City reproduces the vigorous streets in the beginning of the Showa Period (1926-1989). There are restaurants, shops, a post office, a shrine and a police box of those days. I enjoyed Tanabata-matsuri in the classic style of the Showa period in Takimi Koji. I got a tanzaku at the restaurant where I had dinner so that I could write my wish on it.

兵庫県西宮市のえべっさんとして親しまれている西宮神社は、日本に約3500社あるえびす神社の総本山です。毎年1月9日から11日までの十日えびすには100万人以上の参拝客が訪れます。1月10日の早朝に行われる「福男選び」は大きくマスコミで取り上げられます。この神社では毎年七夕まつりも開かれ、見所は、神池のLEDライトがきらめく天の川です。コンサート、屋台、子供行燈なども楽しみました。

Nishinomiya Shrine (more commonly, Ebessan) in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture is the head shrine of the Ebisu sect of Shinto which has about 3500 shrines under it. More than one million people visit the Toka-Ebisu festival from January 9th to the 11th every year. “The Lucky Men Race” which is held in the early morning of January 10th is widely reported in the mass media. This shrine also holds Tanabata-matsuri every year and its highlight is the Milky Way made of LED lights in the sacred lake. I also enjoyed a concert, stalls and Kodomo-andon (paper-framed lamps made by children).

2013年(平成25年)に東京文京区の東京ドームで開催されたふるさと祭りに行ってきました。2011年(平成23年)に起こった東日本大震災からの復興を支援するために、東北のイベントや商品がたくさんありました。私は長年、東北三大祭(仙台七夕まつり、青森ねぶた、秋田竿灯)を見たいと思っていますが、まだその機会はありません。しかしこの日、幸運にも東京ドームで3つを一度に見ることができました。

In 2013 (Heisei 25th yr), I went to see Furusato-matsuri (the Hometown Festival) in the Tokyo Dome, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. There were many events and products from the Tohoku Area to support the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 (Heisei 23th yr). I have long wanted to visit the Tohoku Three Major Festivals (the Sendai Tanabata Festival, the Aomori Nebuta Festival and the Akita Kanto Festival), but I have not yet had the chance. However, I could luckily see these three festivals in the Tokyo Dome at the same time on this day.

2013年(平成25年)5月に東北へ行きました。東北を旅したことは何度かありますが、東日本大震災後は初めてでした。秋田県秋田市の民俗芸能伝承館で、竿灯の素晴らしい曲芸的な技を見ることができました。パフォーマンスの後、観客は小さな竿灯を持って、バランスを取る難しさを体験することができます。館内では竿灯以外の民俗芸能についても興味深い展示物を見ることができました。

In 2013 (Heisei 25th yr), I traveled to the Tohoku Area. I had been to Tohoku several times, but this was my first trip to Tohoku after the Great East Japan Earthquake. In Minzoku Geino Densho-kan (the Folk-Art Tradition Fall), Akita City, Akita Prefecture, I watched wonderful acrobatic skills of Kanto. After the performances, spectators could hold smaller Kanto and experience how difficult it was to balance them. In the facilities, I saw interesting folk art exhibitions besides Kanto.

ねぷたまつり(または、ねぶた)の由来については諸説ありますが、定説としては江戸時代に七夕祭りと盆灯籠が融合して、徐々に華やかに、そして大規模に進化したと言われています。青森県弘前市にある津軽藩ねぷた村は、ねぷた祭り、民芸品、特産品、津軽料理など、津軽の魅力を存分に楽しめる体験型観光施設です。弘前ねぷたの館では、高さ10mの大きなねぷたを始め、いくつものねぷたが暗いホールの中で神秘的に輝いていました。施設内の山絃堂(さんげんどう)では、津軽三味線の聞き応えのある生演奏も楽しむことができました。

There are some theories about the origin of Neputa (or Nebuta) Festival and the accepted theory is that a fusion of Tanabata Festival and Toro-nagashi (floating paper lantern of Bon Festival) gradually evolved into gorgeous and large-scale floats. The Tsugaru Domain Neputa Village in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture has interactive sightseeing facilities where we can fully enjoy the Tsugaru Area such as Neputa Festival, folk crafts, special products and Tsugaru cuisine. Many Neputa floats including a 10-meter Neputa were fantastically glittering in the dark hall. I also enjoyed amazing live performances of Tsugaru Shamisen (a guitar-like instrument with a long neck and three strings) in Sangen-do Hall.

ワ・ラッセはJR青森駅のすぐそばの海側に2011年(平成23年)にオープンしました。2階まで吹き抜けになった広大なスペースには、祭りで実際に出陣した圧倒的な迫力の大型のねぶたが展示されていました。魂が吹き込まれた面のにらみには身震いがするほどでした。館内には本番さながらのお囃子、三味線、笛が流れて祭り気分を盛り上げていました。ねぶたの制作過程や歴史資料も展示されており、ねぶた囃子の教室も開催されていました。

Warrase was opened on the seaside of JR Aomori in 2011 (Heisei 23rd). The actual Nebuta floats of an overwhelming size were exhibited in its spacious hall with an open ceiling as high as 2 stories. Glaring of the soulful faces made me tremble. Exciting Nebuta-bayashi (musical accompaniment for Nebuta) with drums, shamisens (a guitar-like instrument with a long neck and 3 strings) and Japanese flutes was being played in the facilities. The historical materials about Nebuta and the processes of producing floats were also displayed, and the lessons of Nebuta-bayashi were given.

6月中旬からスーパーのお菓子売り場には、馴染のあるお菓子の七夕の特別版が並びます。パッケージに彦星と乙姫、竹飾り、星などの絵が描かれています。北海道函館市では7月7日の七夕の夕方、子供達が竹飾りをしている玄関先でこの地特有の七夕の歌を歌うと、昔はろうそく、今はお菓子がもらえる楽しい習慣があるそうです。ハロウィーンに似ていますね。もし我が家の近所でこの素敵な習慣があれば、お菓子をいっぱい用意して子供達を待ちたいと思います。

函館市の七夕の歌 「竹に短冊、七夕祭り、大いに祝おう、ろうそく1本頂戴な」

In the middle of June, special Tanabata versions of popular sweets start to be sold in the sweets sections of supermarkets. A pair of Ori-hime (Vega) and Hiko-boshi (Altair), Take-kazari and stars are printed on their packages. In Hakodate City, Hokkaido Prefecture, there is a unique annual custom in the evening of July 7th, Tanabata: children sing a Tanabata song peculiar to this region in front of houses which display Take-kazari at the entrances so that the owners of the houses may give the children sweets though candles were originally given in the past. This custom is similar to Halloween. If my area had this lovely custom, I would wait for children with a lot of sweets.

A Tanabata song in Hakodate City:
“Take-ni-Tanzaku, Tanabata matsuri, oini iwao, rosoku ippon-chodaina.”
(“Let’s tie Tanzaku to the bamboo leaves, greatly celebrate Tanabata Festival and give us a candle.”)

なんて色鮮やかな七夕の蒲鉾でしょうか。デパートで見つけて購入しました。緑とピンクに染められた七夕きしめんも購入しました。古代中国の伝説になぞらえ、七夕に素麺を食べると1年間無病息災で過ごせるといわれています。天の川に見立てた胡瓜とオクラを載せ、七夕蒲鉾、海老、錦糸卵で飾った七夕素麺を作りました。食欲が落ちがちな蒸し暑い七夕の時期に、冷たい素麺は喉ごしが良くて美味しく食べられます。

How colorful were Tanabata kamabako (steamed fish cake) which I bought at the department store! I also bought green and pink colored Tanabata kishimen (flat wheat flour noodle). According to the legend of ancient China, people can live in perfect health for a year if they eat Somen (very thin wheat flour noodles) for Tanabata dinner. I made special Tanabata somen with the Milky Way made of cucumber and okura, and decorated it with Tanabata kamaboko, shrimp and kinshi tamago (thin fried-egg strips). I willingly eat cold Somen which goes down my throat smoothly even when I have no appetite because of the hot and humid climate.

 

(「七夕」に戻ります)
(“The Star Festival”)

 

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