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What is your favorite star?

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Astronomy in Japan

Japanese people have historically made the stars an integral part of their lives, as is common with many old cultures around the world. The Japanese however, tended to associate the stars with everyday objects rather than mythological Gods or animals. There are various names for the constellations throughout history and sometimes there are local differences in the names as well.

In this blog by Murayama sensei, she looks into some of the most popular stars and the legends tied to them.She has provided the translation and created a video in which she also reads the transcript.

You can learn more Japanese vocabulary about stars and other topics in this free Japanese learning audio blog.

What is your favorite star?











To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video. 






What is your favorite star?

Though it’s rare to watch the night sky these days, I used to watch it to find constellations when I was a kid.

Vega and Altair are well known as stars found in summer in Japan. They are called “Orihime-boshi” and “Hiko-boshi,” from the names of the couple in Tanabata story. There is the Milky Way between the couple, so they cannot meet up. They can meet once a year, on July 7th in the story.

Orion is famous in winter. Orion is seen in the southern sky. It is easy to find, as stars can be clearly seen in winter. Hokuto shichisei can be seen in the northern sky all year round.

It is said that if you say your wish three times on a shooting star, your wish will come true. This is very difficult, isn’t it? I feel like making a wish when I see the full moon. Which star would you like to make a wish to? It would be nice if you could watch the night sky and find your favorite star!


夜空(よぞら)night sky

眺(なが)める watch, gaze

星座(せいざ) constellation

七夕(たなばた) Evening of the seventh (Story of a weaving princess and a cow herder)

物語(ものがたり story

おりひめ星(ぼし) Weaving princess star

ひこ星(ぼし) Cow herder star

天(あま)の川(がわ) Milky Way

北斗七星(ほくとしちせい) North Dipper Seven Stars, Plough

オリオン座(ざ) Orion, the Hunter

はっきりと clearly

流(なが)れ星(ぼし) shooting star

願(ねが)いごと wish

叶(かな)う (dream/wish) come true

都会(とかい) city, urban area


Hajimemashite. My name is Yuki Murayama.
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Guest Sunday, 18 March 2018