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Tanabata Song
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Onomatopoeic Expressions
Tanabata

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Tanabata Festival

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Tanabata

Tanabata, the Star Festival in Japan, is an event based on a Chinese legend. Two lovers (the stars Altair and Vega), who were separated by the Milky Way, meet just once a year on the night of July 7th. Click the link to read the Tanabata story.


Here is the song that is sung on Tanabata (in Japanese).

Sasa no ha sara sara
笹の葉 さらさら
Nokiba ni yureru
軒端に ゆれる
Ohoshi-sama kira kira
お星さま きらきら
Kin gin sunago
金 銀 砂子


Have a look at the lessons below to learn some basic vocabulary, grammar, hirigana, kanji and onomatopoeic phrases from the song.


sasa
bamboo
ha
leaves
nokiba
軒端
eave
yureru
ゆれる
to rustle
hoshi
star
kin
gold
gin
silver

The words like "sara sara" or "kira kira" are called onomatopoeic phrases (words that describe sound or action directly). They are often found in Japanese sentences.


sara sara
さらさら
(rustle, murmur)
Ogawa ga sara sara nagarete imasu.
小川がさらさら流れています。
(The brook is murmuring.)
kira kira
きらきら
(twinkle, glitter, sparkle)
Daiyamondo ga kira kira hikatte imasu.
ダイヤモンドがきらきら光っています。
(The diamond is glittering.)

Here are other expressions to describe "shaking" or "shining".


yura yura
ゆらゆら
(waver, shake quietly)
Rousoku no hi ga yura yura shite imasu.
ろうそくの火がゆらゆらしています。
(The candle light is wavering.)
pika pika
ピカピカ
(shine brightly,
glitter a polished object)
Atarashii kouka ga pika pika hikatte imasu.
新しい硬貨がぴかぴか光っています。
(The new coins are glittering.)

Click the link to learn more about onomatopoeic phrases.

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