What a wonderful time we had this afternoon! IWCB members were given the opportunity to learn first hand about Tanabata, the Japanese star festival. Iko explained the story of the two stars, separated by the Milky Way, representing lovers who are only allowed to be together once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month. We were welcomed by our hostess Hammi and invited to write a wish on special paper which we then hung on the bamboo in the garden. Yuka played 2 songs on her violin, the traditional Japanese Tanabata song and the Disney classic “When You Wish Upon a Star”. Iko then invited Keiko and Hammi to join her in singing the Tanabata song.
Lunch was delicious, a selection of Japanese and Western-style dishes. Iko then taught members a traditional Japanese folk dance. Aftersome practice, we formed a circle on the lawn and danced to Yuka’s violin music.
We found out later that some of the staff serving the meal were voice students at Berklee School of Music. We persuaded them to sing for us “Ue wo muite arukuo”, a well known Japanese song that was played in the United States and was quite popular in the early 1960s, where it was called “Sukiyaki”. Iko wants us all to know that the song really has nothing to do with sukiyaki, which is a food. The Japanese title, when translated to English, means “I walk looking up”. Tonight we will all look up into the sky and hope that the wish we wrote this afternoon will come true.
- submitted by Joann