y identical with the festival of the Chinese Weaving-Goddess, Tchi-Niu; the Japanese holiday seems to have been especially a woman's holiday, from the earliest times; and the characters with which the word Tanabata is written signify a weaving-girl. But as both of the star-deities were worshiped on the seventh of the seventh month, some Japanese scholars have not been satisfied with the common explanation of the name, and have stated that it was originally composed with the word tané (seed, or grain), and the word hata (loom). Those who accept this etymology make the appellation, Tanabata-Sama, plural instead of singular, and render it as "the deities of grain and of the loom,"--that is to say, those presiding over agriculture and weaving. In old Japanese pictures the star-gods are represented according to this conception of their respective attributes;--Hikoboshi being figured as a peasant lad leading an ox to drink of the Heavenly River, on the farther side of which Orihimé (
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