July 7 is known as 七夕 (Tanabata, the Star Festival) in Japan. This is the night that the mythical deities Orihime and Hikoboshi, separated by the 天の川 (ama no gawa, Milky Way), are allowed to meet.

Back down on Earth, however, this year, July 7 is 投票日 (tōhyōbi, election day) in 東京 (Tōkyō, Tokyo) — not a time for lovers, but a time for rivals, decisions and democracy. The upcoming 選挙 (senkyo, election) for the role of 知事 (chiji, prefectural governor) is currently a big topic of discussion across the country because, after all, this is the person in charge of Japan’s 首都 (shuto, capital).

Even if you’re not a 東京都民 (Tōkyō tomin, Tokyo resident) or a 有権者 (yūken-sha, eligible voter), you can still take part in the conversation surrounding the 東京都知事選挙 (Tōkyo-to chiji senkyo, Tokyo gubernatorial election) if you are able to master a few words and terms surrounding 日本の政治 (Nihon no seiji, Japanese politics).