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Misawa Tanabata Festival forges U.S., Japan friendships

A group of U.S. service members pose in traditional Japanese kimonos during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. This wide sleeve loose robe is typically worn as a formal garment for special occasions. Attendees participated in a Yukata fashion contest displaying the garment for judges and audience members to observe and enjoy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

A group of U.S. service members pose in traditional Japanese kimonos during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. This wide sleeve loose robe is typically worn as a formal garment for special occasions. Attendees participated in a Yukata fashion contest, displaying the garment for judges and audience members to observe and enjoy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

Attendees walk around during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. Event attendees enjoyed paper mache decorations, live musical performances, basketball games and a variety of food vendors in addition to socializing and connecting with each other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

Attendees walk around during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. Event attendees enjoyed paper mache decorations, live musical performances, basketball games and a variety of food vendors in addition to socializing and connecting with each other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

Shumi Kaufman, left, a 35th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center intercultural coordinator, and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tony Rodeback, an Armed Forces Network – Misawa producer, introduce contestants of the yukata fashion show during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. The fashion show featured a variety of guests wearing colorful and traditional Japanese summer kimonos. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

Shumi Kaufman, left, a 35th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center intercultural coordinator, and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tony Rodeback, an Armed Forces Network – Misawa producer, introduce contestants of the yukata fashion show during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. The fashion show featured a variety of guests wearing colorful and traditional Japanese summer kimonos. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

An action figure, ‘Mokko Fighter,’ stands on a table during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. The user controls the wooden figure’s arms and legs to simulate a dancing or fighting performance for guest. This attraction compares to a modern-day puppet show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

An action figure, ‘Mokko Fighter,’ stands on a table during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. The user controlled the wooden figure’s arms and legs to simulate a dancing or fighting performance for guest. This attraction compares to a modern-day puppet show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

Tsukuda Kazuhito, a food vendor cook, prepares yakisoba noodles during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. The festival offered traditional Japanese food items such as octopus balls called, “takoyori,” meat on a stick called, “yakitori” and fried chicken called, “kara-age.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

Tsukuda Kazuhito, a food vendor cook, prepares yakisoba noodles during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. The festival offered traditional Japanese food items such as octopus balls called, “takoyaki,” meat on a stick called, “yakitori” and fried chicken called, “kara-age.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

Tsukuda Kazuhito, a food vendor cook, prepares yakisoba noodles during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. The festival offered traditional Japanese food items such as octopus balls called, “takoyori,” meat on a stick called, “yakitori” and fried chicken called, “kara-age.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

A paper strip, called, “tanzaku,” hangs on a tree during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. Attendees can write their wishes on the colored pieces of paper. The color red represents gratefulness, blue represents morality, yellow represents trust, white represents responsibility and black represents studious. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

A fukinagashi streamer hangs on a bamboo post during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. Japan’s Tanabata “Star Festival” originated from an ancient Chinese legend about two lovers -- Princess Orihime, the Vega star -- who weaved clouds, and Hikoboshi, the Altair star, a cattle herder. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

A fukinagashi streamer hangs on a bamboo post during the Tanabata Festival in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. Japan’s Tanabata “Star Festival” originated from an ancient Chinese legend about two lovers: Princess Orihime, the Vega star who weaved clouds, and Hikoboshi, the Altair star, a cattle herder. (U.S. Air Force photo by Branden Yamada)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

The Tanabata “Star” Festival took place in Misawa City, Japan, July 26, 2019. The festival originated from an ancient Chinese legend about two lovers: Princess Orihime, the Vega star who weaved clouds, and Hikoboshi, the Altair star, a cattle herder

China locals introduced this festival around the 8th century hoping to improve their sewing or handwriting skills, but now, write their wishes on strips of colorful paper and hang them on trees.

This annual event aids in strengthening the relationship among Team Misawa members and the local community through fun, food and festivities. This celebration ties two nations together as allies and friends creating a positive bond for a long-lasting connection.