Happy Tanabata – again!

Tanabata at Kew GardensHappy Tanabata, for the second time this year. Tanabata again? What’s going on? Well, the Tanabata festival falls on the seventh day of the seventh month. So most places celebrate it on the seventh of July, like the Japan Society- led Tanabata festival on the South Bank that I wrote about before. But not all calendars are the same – by the lunar calendar August counts as the seventh month, so here we are celebrating Tanabata all over again. Continue reading

Silkworms and mortice joints – the Minka House at Kew

Minka House at KewHave you ever wondered how silkworms make silk? No, me neither. Not until I took Kew Gardens up on their Twelve Days of Christmas free ticket offer and went to see the Minka House – a traditional Japanese House transported to Kew and re-erected by the Japan Minka Re-use and Recycle Association. Continue reading