たなばたさま Tanabata Sama Tanabata Stars

1.                                 

ささ(笹)の葉 さらさら / Sasa no Ha Sara Sara / Bamboo leaves are rustling, rustling,
のきば(軒端)にゆれる / Nokiba ni Yureru / Swaying close to the roof's edge,
お星様 キラキラ / Ohoshi sama Kira Kira / The stars are twinkling, twinkling,
きんぎん(金銀)すなご(砂子) / Kin gin Sunago / Gold and silver grains of sand.

2.
五しき(色)のたんざく(短冊) / Goshiki no Tanzaku / Five coloured paper strips 
わたし(私)がか(書)いた / Watashi ga Kaita / I have written my wishes
おほしさま(星様)キラキラ / Ohoshi sama Kira Kira / The stars are twinkling
空から見てる / Sora kara Miteru / Watching from the sky.

 

 

Background:

This song was first included in a school song book published in 1941 for the second year pupils of the primary school. It is about a Tanabata festival which was popularised in the Edo period, based on a story originally introduced from China. Shokujo, daughter of the heaven's god who was a weaver fell in love with a ploughman, Kengyu. Shokujo and Kengyu were supposed to live in the heaven as stars. Since they stopped working as before the father of Shokujo became angry and separated them into two sides of the milky way. Only once yearly in the evening of 7 July they were allowed to meet each other.

     This story was used in many poetries included in the Japan's first poetry collection called Manyo-shu which was collated from 7th century. The Tanabata festival is enjoyed all over Japan writing a wish on a stripped paper and hanging it into a bamboo tree.