“Stars of Asia”project is one of IYA 2009 activity with collaboration of Asian area. It aims to collect and edit Asian excellent myths and legends relating to stars and universe through the collaboration of Asian countries/ regions and then publish attractive books of Asian myths/legends of stars in each country/region for the public, children and teachers, so that many people can enjoy those stories in school, planetarium, and at home.

In 2009, we held the “Stars of Asia Workshop” at NAOJ Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. The participants brought 65 myths and legends from 14 countries/regions. At the workshop, we organized the Editorial Board nominated from  each country/region for editing a book of “Stars of Asia”. The members of editorial board are preparing to publish attractive books of Myths and Legends about Stars and the Universe of Asia for children, people, and teachers in Asia and the world. The editorial board edits a common book of “Stars of Asia” in English, then translate to each country/region language, so that we can share rich culture of stars throughout the Asia and Pacific area. The English common book contains 3 parts, Part I: Myth and Legends of Stars and Universe Loved by Asian People, Part II: The Sun, Moon,Stars, Universe, and Human Being, Part III: Ancient Astronomy and Universe of Asia. The editorial board selected several popular stories from each country/region, then laid them out in the part I. Relatively short and classified stories by celestial objects were laid out in the part II. The part III includes the universes of Ancient India and China and traditional way to know the direction and latitude for sailing on the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the book, Origin, Flow and Evolution of Asian Myths and Legends are summarized. In total, the book has about 200 pages with 73 stories.

Not only stories but also illustrations in this book are very attractive. Through the colorful illustration gathering from Asian area, people would feel various cultures and histories of Asia region. Various stories appear from each religion, climate, and geographical features. Contrary, a common story in the wide area, like the story of Vega and Altair exists. It seems to be brought by the racial migration and religious propagation. “Stars of Asia” project may be a first trial to collect myths and legends on stars and universe from the entire Asian region. People can also enjoy the book from a point of view of ethnology.

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“Stars of Asia” project

Fumi Yoshida   National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

“Stars of Asia”project is one of IYA 2009 activity with collaboration of Asian area. It aims to collect and edit Asian excellent myths and legends relating to stars and universe through the collaboration of Asian countries/ regions and then publish attractive books of Asian myths/legends of stars in each country/region for the public, children and teachers, so that many people can enjoy those stories in school, planetarium, and at home.

In 2009, we held the “Stars of Asia Workshop” at NAOJ Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. The participants brought 65 myths and legends from 14 countries/regions. At the workshop, we organized the Editorial Board nominated from  each country/region for editing a book of “Stars of Asia”. The members of editorial board are preparing to publish attractive books of Myths and Legends about Stars and the Universe of Asia for children, people, and teachers in Asia and the world. The editorial board edits a common book of “Stars of Asia” in English, then translate to each country/region language, so that we can share rich culture of stars throughout the Asia and Pacific area. The English common book contains 3 parts, Part I: Myth and Legends of Stars and Universe Loved by Asian People, Part II: The Sun, Moon,Stars, Universe, and Human Being, Part III: Ancient Astronomy and Universe of Asia. The editorial board selected several popular stories from each country/region, then laid them out in the part I. Relatively short and classified stories by celestial objects were laid out in the part II. The part III includes the universes of Ancient India and China and traditional way to know the direction and latitude for sailing on the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the book, Origin, Flow and Evolution of Asian Myths and Legends are summarized. In total, the book has about 200 pages with 73 stories.

Not only stories but also illustrations in this book are very attractive. Through the colorful illustration gathering from Asian area, people would feel various cultures and histories of Asia region. Various stories appear from each religion, climate, and geographical features. Contrary, a common story in the wide area, like the story of Vega and Altair exists. It seems to be brought by the racial migration and religious propagation. “Stars of Asia” project may be a first trial to collect myths and legends on stars and universe from the entire Asian region. People can also enjoy the book from a point of view of ethnology.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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