Tanabata Festivities in Sendai: Street Photography

Tanabata Festival is one of the festival in Japan, originating from Chinese Qixi Festival. In both festivals, the theme is the same: the reunification of long separated lovers. In Japanese version they are Orihime and Hikoboshi, who could only meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month of lunar calendar. Of course, just like every other legends and folklore, as time went by the festival skewed from its original intention and thus slightly different interpretation arose. For instance, in present day Japanese people would write their wishes and hang them on bamboo, praying that the wishes would come true — which may or may not have connection to the original story.

Nevertheless people enjoy such celebrations. In some regions, Tanabata Festival is celebrated grandly where the whole city would be engulfed in the many colors of Tanabata decorations and music would be echoing everywhere. Sendai is one of those cities. In fact, Sendai Tanabata Festival is regarded as one of the biggest Tanabata festivals in Japan. Together with Kanto Matsuri in Akita and Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori, they make up the ‘Three Great Festivals of Tohoku Region’.

Now in this article I am not going to tell the narration of Tanabata Festival in Sendai. Plenty of sites have already covered it, plus from year to year it is always the same old attractions. Instead on this 2016 Tanabata Festival I decided to focus more on the people. I grabbed my telephoto lens to the hustle and bustle of the festival and managed to snatch some of the moments amid the crowd. I am new with street photography, so for sure there are still rooms for improvement.

Gears I used:

Nikon D5300

Pentax Takumar SMC 85-210mm f4.5

Nikon DX 18-55mm f3.5-5.6



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