Japan at its best
Tuesday September 16th 2014

Tanabata, Disney

Tanabata Mickey Style
Tanabata Mickey Tanzaku

Looking around Tokyo last week it was great to see Tanabata celebrated in many different ways in different places.

At Tokyo Disneyland, of course, the theme of the Japanese star festival blended in perfectly with with the American themed Cinderella castle and the song ‘a dream is a wish your heart makes.’

I wonder what Walt Disney himself would have made of this lovely connection with an ancient festival?

Disney Tanabata
Disney Tanabata

It didnt matter that the Tanabata Tree was not a new Disney ride or even a cuddle with Mickey Mouse, it was synoymous with ‘Wish Upon a Star’ and that warranted the enormous queue.

Adults and kids lined up for hours to have their photo taken in front of a special Tanabata wish tree at the entrance to Disney. But the wait was of course worth it! I hope!

At the Tanabata Tree
Mickey Mouse Tanabata Tree
Tokyo Disneyland does have a Japanese flavour!

To celebrate the festival of Tanabata, messages are typically written on small long slips of coloured paper and attached to bamboo.

Disney modified this tradition by offering Mickey Mouse shaped paper to people wanting to wish. These pieces of paper, on which wishes or even poetry are written, are called ‘tanzaku’ in Japanese.

A Wishing Star ? Or Mickey Face
A Wishing Star ? Or Mickey Face

This was my wish …….

I wish I wish
I wish I wish

What was your wish for Tanabata?

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