The Japan Society

Kamishibai: The Story of Tanabata (Star Festival)

Subject: English / Other Topics
Level: Key Stage 1 / Key Stage 2
Age: 5-7 years / 7-11 years
Resource Type: Activities / Presentations / Other

The Story of Tanabata (aka Bridge Across the Milky Way)

The Tanabata story tells of the annual reunion of two lovers in the Milky Way. Originally a Chinese legend it made its way to Japan long ago and is the inspiration behind the Japanese Tanabata Festival celebrated on July 7 (and August 7 in some areas).  The characters in the story represent the stars Vega and Altair. 

Suitable for Reception to Year 6.

The kamishibai illustrations for the Tanabata Story were produced for The Japan Society by Linde Vergeylen 


The PowerPoint presentations (PPT), with some animated effects and music, is created to look like a live kamishibai show. The story text is in the notes section of each slide and is designed to be shown as a slide show in 'presenter view', where the text is visible on the presenter's screen only while the audience views the main illustrated slide. Please note the PPT file is password protected but can be opened and played in 'read only' format.

The Story of Tanabata - PPSX (4 MB) 
PowerPoint Show: opens automatically and only in PowerPoint presentation view. You will need PointPoint on your device in order to open and view properly.

The Story of Tanabata - PPTX (4 MB)  The Story of Tanabata - PPT 97-2003 compatibility (6.5MB)
PowerPoint Document: Use this file if your computer does not support pps or ppsx format.

is designed to be used as printed kamishibai cards (up to A3 size), however, it can still be shown on screen as a slide show using only the story image slides for those who are not using PowerPoint. The file comes with instructions on how to read kamishibai. If you only have one screen (cannot use the 'presenter view'), or simply prefer to read from a piece of paper, but still want to show the kamishibai in PowerPoint, the story text can be printed from the PDF version.

The Story of Tanabata - PDF (27.5MB)


Additional Resources

See our Tanabata Festival resource for more information and resources.  


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