A Tokyo-based jewelry shop is displaying bamboo branches for the traditional Tanabata star festival adorned with hundreds of long rectangular strips of platinum, a metal rarer than gold.
Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry K.K. is allowing customers to write down their wishes on the strips in line with the Tanabata legend.
The legend says Altair and Vega, two stars representing lovers normally separated by the Milky Way, are allowed to meet only on July 7. The shimmering bamboo branches will be displayed until that day.
Normally, colorful paper is used as strips called “tanzaku” to write down wishes.
At the company’s head store in Ginza on Monday, models dressed in casual “yukata” kimono showed the platinum strips to shoppers. Some of the company’s regional outlets are also displaying them.
Tatsuya Katayama, the shop manager of the Ginza Tanaka Fukuoka Tenjin branch, said, “We adopted platinum, said to symbolize eternity, hoping wishes that come true will last forever.”
He declined to disclose the cost of the decorations, saying only that platinum costs three times as much as gold leaf.
A customer who wrote down a wish for the safety of her family said: “I was surprised by such a luxurious tanzaku. I would be happy if it brings me luck.”
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