Tanabata Star Festival underway in Sendai
NHK -- Aug 07
The Tanabata Star Festival has opened in Sendai, northeastern Japan, filling the main shopping arcade in the city with colorful bamboo decorations.

The annual street festival is said to date back more than 400 years.

A ceremony took place on Monday to mark the start of the event.

Some 88,000 origami cranes of 8 different colors folded by elementary and junior high school students adorned the bamboo poles.

Local children sang a song praying for recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Sixth-grader Kanon Tozato, who took part in the ceremony, said she wished to brighten the spirits of people who have been victimized and emotionally scarred by the disaster.

She added she wants to continue to pass on the memories of the disaster to people who are unaware of it.

Many visitors flocked to the venue despite the rain. They took photos of their families and children in front of the colorful decorations.

Some 3,000 bamboos and paper decorations will be displayed during the 3-day festival. Organizers expect visitor turnout to be around 2.1 million this year.

News source: NHK
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