Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles When we first moved to Japan in 2014, everything was new and we had no idea what we were doing, especially when it came to the festivals! Our twins Becca and Anna went into Japanese kindergarten and soon after came our first experience with Tanabata. [Life in Japan Theme Song] Fortunately for us, our new friends Midori and Koushi invited us over to enjoy a meal at their house and hear the story of Tanabata. Her name was Orihime. Orihime was the daughter of the Sky King, and she made the most beautiful clothes along the milky way. She fell in love and was married to the cowboy Hikoboshi, however the king was mad after their marriage because the cows began to wander all over the kingdom and Orihime stopped making beautiful clothes for him, so he forbid them from being together. Orihime was so sad that the king decided to let them get together once a year, on July 7 — Tanabata. They come across the far reaches of the milky way to meet together on a bridge on this special day. And that's the story of Tanabata. Japan loves Matsuri, or festivals. These celebrations, with their unique clothes and traditions, give you a glimpse into the ancient roots of the East It's kind of crazy still Get the orange thing. Is that Daddy's hair gel? Your [hair] is so much — has so many spiky things. Today we'll be participating in the Tanabata Matsuri at Joshua's kindergarten. I'm Daddy! OK, let's go get dressed! Look at Sarah! She's almost ready. Is there a special way to put these on? Yes! You have to make sure that this side is on top. Because if this side is on top, it means your dead. And this is a kimono, or this is a yukata? Yukata. What's the difference, do you know? I think the yukata's more for summer... And, I can afford a yukata. I can't afford a kimono! Kimono's are fancy. Like silk and... I don't know what. They're beautiful though. Yukatas are pretty too... I believe they're made for summer so they're a lighter weight material — maybe? And they're more casual whereas a kimono is more for very fancy Turn around. It's taking a long time. Yep — getting ready takes a long time! Joshua! Put your arm in! It's bugs! Isn't that so cool? It's so Kakui! Ah, I bet Sarah loves that. Trying to figure out how this works sometimes can be quite a challenge! Well, I've got to make it short enough for him. Turn around. There's a difference for boys and girls. Look, when he goes like this — this is not really long. Oh that's right. Yours are nice and long and his are like that, huh? Ah! That's so cool! OK Are we almost ready to go? A tradition in the Reutter household is to take pictures as we're leaving the house and add them to our slideshow of memories! I'm glad we could get these of Joshua's first Tanabata Matsuri! Can I sit down? Matsuri in 2020 is like this. Got a mask, we're ready to go. Whoa- look! It's all decorated, Joshua. Ooo, very cool. Because of Corona, the production this year is much smaller than before, but it's still exciting to see the kids in their yukatas all ready to dance! Sarah! Do you remember all of this, when you did this? It wasn't that long ago, was it? There's Joshua! Joshua still has one dance left so this water will help us get through the rest of it Because it is hot. Originally this festival was supposed to happen in July But like a lot of the festivals here in Japan, they were cancelled because of Corona and all the restrictions that are in place, So this year they decided they were able to do it in a way that other classes come at different times. So that everyone can dance. Everyone gets a turn. But there's not too many people there at once. Mommy's getting her drink. Sarah's getting her drink on. Daddy's going to get his drink on. 34 degrees. Feels like 42. And it does. Full sun at 1 PM! Oh dude! You were awesome, Dude! Aw! High five, high five! You were so kakui. Was it so fun? I got bubbles. I got my own bubbles. OK, let's go! Mommy already left! Here we go! Wow- is that what you got for doing it today? How awesome, Dude! I got a cute picture of him and Aiden. Ah cool, good! And of him and his teacher. Aw!