Episode Four: Death Prepares for a Festival

Produced by: Eve Berry, Lawrence Han, Peyton Goodman, and Sarah Waldo

This podcast discusses the story of “The Star Weaver and the Cowherd” which is a popular story found in both Chinese and Japanese cultures.  It is not only a story for entertainment, but one that showcases Chinese marriage structures throughout its history. The story also shows insight into the process of integration of Chinese culture into Japan. One story that serves many functions.


Group Contributions:

Eve Berry: Researched Japanese language sources on Tanabata and worked on audio production.

Lawrence Han: Researched Chinese language sources on Qixi and found original documents of the Chinese story.

Peyton Goodman: Researched English language sources on Chinese marriage and its relation to the story.

Sarah Waldo: Researched English language sources on Japanese marriage and court system.


Music:Canary Productions Music Library

Sound Effects: soundbible.com

Image: Eve Berry

Works Cited:


  • Denny Sargent. Shinto and Its Festivals. Ye Old Goat’s Shoppe, 2000.
  • Hamilton, Clarence H. “Religion and the New Culture Movement in China.” The Journal of Religion, vol. 1, no. 3, 1921, pp. 225–232. www.jstor.org/stable/1195265.
  • Hinsch, Bret. “Women, Kinship, and Property as Seen in a Han Dynasty Will.” T’oung Pao, Second Series, 84, no. 1/3 (1998): 1-20. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4528735.
  • http://www.kyosei-tairyu.jp/star-festival/
  • LaMarre, Thomas, 1959-. Uncovering Heian Japan: an archaeology of sensation and inscription. Durham [N.C.] : Duke University Press, 2000. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.09202.0001.001.
  • Lindsey, William. “Religion and the Good Life: Motivation, Myth, and Metaphor in a Tokugawa Female Lifestyle Guide.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 32, no. 1 (2005): 35-52. http://www.jstor.org/stable/30233776.
  • McCullough, William H. “Japanese Marriage Institutions in The Heian Period.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 27 (1967): 103-67. doi:10.2307/2718385.
  • Morton, W. Scott, and J. Kenneth. Olenik. Japan : Its History and Culture. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005. Web.
  • Robins-Mowry, Dorothy. The Hidden Sun: Women of Modern Japan. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1983.
  • Tang, Zongli. “Confucianism, Chinese Culture, and Reproductive Behavior.Population and Environment, vol. 16, no. 3, 1995, pp. 269–284. www.jstor.org/stable/27503398.
  • You Seihou 楊 静芳.中日七夕伝説における天の川の生成に関する比較研究. “A comparison of the creation of the Milky Way in the Chinese and Japanese Tanabata Legend.” Tokyo Gakugei University Repository, 2012.


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