In the next part of Japanese micro seasons we talk about the next set of micro seasons Hakuro meaning white dew breaks down into three parts 8-12 of September Kusa no tsuyu shiroshi ( dew glistens white on grass. 13-17 of September Sekireinaku ( wagtails sing ) and 18-22 September Tsubame saru ( swallows leave ).
The last one for me is very significant, I always feel the arrival of the swallows marks the start of summer and the swallows leaving definitely means autumn has arrived.
Also during this micro season is the moon viewing festival in Japan called Tsukimi or Otsukimi, it can also be known by the name Jugoya.
It is a time when the Japanese honour the autumn moon and give gratitude for a good harvest. Traditionally offerings are made of seasonal produce like chestnuts, persimmon and kabocha. Rice dumplings ( dango balls ) are made representing the full moon. Eating these are considered auspicious and are said to bring health and happiness . Display 12 one for each month. Pampas grass ( Susuki ) is also displayed at this time. Another symbol of Tsukimi is the rabbit. Japanese people say they see the shape of a rabbit pounding Mochi with a mallet in the moon, unlike others that may see a face in the moon often referred to as the man in the moon.
There is a little pottery store in Kyoto down Pontocho Alley in Kyoto. I’m not sure of the name of the store but the store sells nothing but rabbit items . Maybe it is called simply Usagi ( meaning rabbit in Japanese.) I picked up this rabbit dish last time I was there.
The word Tsukimi is also referred to for dishes that have a raw egg yolk in them like Tsukimi soba. This one is my vegan version using grated daikon and kabocha.
Many places in Japan 2019 will be holding special moon viewing events this year. Himeji castle Sept 13th, Tokyo Sky Tree will be holding events through Sept and Oct. Sankein garden in Yokohama will be holding events between the 12th and 16th of Sept and Ise shrine will be holding an event on the 13th sept.
Will you be attending any moon viewing events or maybe you could quietly do something at home. Weather your in Japan or not why not pay homage to the harvest full moon and welcome autumn with the changing seasons.
Lovely Seasonal tenugui can be found at www.nugoojapan.com