Monday, July 16, 2012

Tanabata Recap

Tanabata, which is translated as the Japanese Star Festival, is one of my favorite holiday celebrations.  It derives from a romantic legend about two lovers in the sky, who are allowed to meet only once a year.

For the past six years I have celebrated Tanabata with the children of Willowbrook, where I work every summer.  We always have the campers write wishes and make origami ornaments to hung on bamboo for Tanabata.  One year we even did a skit about the legend of Tanabata.

Here are some wishes that our campers made this year.

"Be good at math" (left), "Beautiful planet" (right)
"Good health" (left), "I want a dog" (center),
"Peace at home (right)
Here is my Tanabata wish this summer...
"I wish the event at Japanese Garden will go well"

It seemed that my wish had come true.  The event was full of people and fun.  I received some positive feedback.


my demo table
lotus flowers, lily pads and frog that I folded and displayed.  

People seemed to be more interested in the lights that I put inside of the lotus flowers than anything that I folded.  They may be hard to notice in the photo above, but they are glowing LED lights that are battery operated, called Fairy Berries, available on Amazon.com
lotus flowers with fairy berries look like these in dark.

During my break, I enjoyed kami-shibai by Michiko Kornhauser.  Kami-shibai, which literally means "paper-theater" is a Japanese tradition of illustrated storytelling.  The illustrations for this kami-shibai, drawn in chalk pastels by George Katagiri were very beautiful.

The guitar music by Toshi Onizuka was also very beautiful.   Thanks to his music I was able to stay calm and in good mood during the event.  I will definitely need to purchase his CDs.

I got to browse around the garden for a little while, before and after the event.

Traditional kusudama in display, not made by me.
I wore a vintage floral skirt I found at Lodekka.
Some of the flowers on the skirt are star shaped,
Isn't it appropriate?

koi in the pond
iris flowers were still blooming
I would like to express my gratitude towards all the staff, volunteers and visitors at the event in the Japanese Garden, as well my helper (aka my significant other).  It was a wonderful event thanks to all of you!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tanabata, Japanese Star Festival at Portland Japanese Garden

I will be working at the Japanese Garden as a part of their Tanabata, Japanese Star Festival event from 1 to 3pm on Saturday, July 7th!  This time, I won't be teaching origami, but instead I will be demonstrating my origami work.  I plan to fold several models that are appropriate for the occasion, including some ornaments for Tanabata as well as flora and fauna of the season.  The garden will also have live music by a local guitarist Toshi Onizuka, storytelling by Michiko Kornhauser, and origami instructions by PSU student volunteers.  I am excited to be a part of this event!