Washi Japanese Handmade Paper and Tanabata Star Festival

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The JASGA cultural program in July will present Washi (和紙), Japanese traditional paper, mostly handmade by the traditional method.  We will also host a celebration of Tanabata, Japanese Star Festival, which is held on July 7th (JST) every year.

Washi is commonly made using fibers from the bark of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub (Edgeworthia chrysantha) or the paper mulberry.  About the word composed of washi, 'wa'  means Japanese and 'shi' means paper.

Ms. Lindsay Nakashima will talk about a history of the invention of paper then how papermade its way to Japan.  Then she will go into the making of paper and show a video of that process. She will also discuss tools and equipment.   
 
About Lindsay Nakashima
Lindsay Nakashima operates a small hand book bindery in east Austin. She graduated from the North Bennet Street School in Boston with a Certificate in Bookbinding after studies in paper making under MacArthur Fellow Timothy Barrett.  Her research in Iowa was on the highly secretive watermarking techniques developed in the Edomaki period.  An article was published in Hand Papermaking Winter 1999 on this research.
 
Summer 2014,  Lindsay visited Mino Papermakers in Gifu Prefecture with the assistance of Hiromi Paper International. This village has been making the Mino Paper for 1,300 years. In the fall of 2014, after her visit this papermaking craft “Honminoshi” became listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Property.
 
After Lindsay's talk, we will celebrate the 2016 Tanabata (七夕) Star Festival togeter. 
 
Tanabata Star Festival:
 
Tanabata (七夕) literary means "Evening of the seventh", also known as the Japanese Star Festival.  It celebrates the meeting of Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair). They are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. According to folklore story, the Milky Way separates this loving couple.   
 
Tanabata is celebrated every year on July 7 in Japan (or August 7 in some places).  It's said that your wishes will come true if you write them down on strips of paper called tanzaku and hang them on bamboo branches. At kindergartens, elementary schools, and children's centers, children celebrate Tanabata by hanging tanzaku with their wishes - such as "I want to become good at football" or "I want to pass my exams."  Children look forward to this special day as a sign that summer has truly arrived.
 
When this time of year comes around, people write their wishes on strips of paper and hang them on bamboo trees, along with decorations
 
We will make Tanzaku paper to make a wish, write it down, and hang it on a bamboo tree. Send your wishes off into the Heavens through this ancient Tanabata ritual.
 
Join us and let's celebrate the Tanabata Star Festival together at the Austin Children's Museum (Thinkery)! 
 
Open to the public and  free event.
 
 
 

 

July 6th, 2016 6:00 PM   through   7:45 PM
Austin Children's Museum (Thinkery)
1830 Simond Ave
Austin, TX 78723
United States
Phone: 512-656-4731
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