Tomorrow is Tanabata 七夕, a festival based on the myth that a pair of lovers, the constellations Altair and Vega, are allowed to meet once a year if a flock of magpies come to form a bridge between them. Unfortunately the birds won't come if it's raining, and it's been pouring and thundering all weekend. So even if we were to go star-watching we wouldn't be able to see anything. It's tradition to write wishes on pieces of paper and tie them to bamboo, so we've had (admittedly rather fake) stalks standing in some of the classrooms this week. Children are supposed to wish for gaining skills at schoolwork or housework - I imagine more of them are focused on sports. Because of the old Japanese calendar being different, Tanabata is celebrated in some places a month later. Hopefully in August it won't be raining, the lovers will be able to meet, and I'll be able to see a real summer festival.
Because I can either shut my curtains and deny the rain, or embrace it and I've chosen the latter: the song of the day is by TOKIO, an awesome band, called Sorafune - 宙船 - or Sky Ship. For belonging to an agency that is infamous for producing groups high on the good looks and low on the talent, they're very down-to-earth guys who become rather epic when they get their hands on their instruments. They have a handful of songs with the sort of inspirational quality to the instruments and lyrics that make you think, "this could be my anthem." It helps that the lead singer Nagase Tomoya, 長瀬智也, has an incredible raw power to his voice that makes me think of getting an itch seriously scratched where other voices just tickle. (He's also a decent actor and makes some of the most amusing facial expressions ever.) It'd be blasphemy to call them the Japanese answer to the Beatles, but. I'm tempted to.
A few more days like this and I'll need either a sky ship or Noah's ark.