Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Japanese Moon-Viewing and the Autumnal Equinox/お月見と秋分の日

Though this is up a little late, I still figured it would be fun to write about the “moon-viewing” event held here in Seika on September 23rd. Never having been to moon watching event before, I knew little about the practice, other than the fact that everyone eats “dango,” sweet rice ball treats. My sweet tooth demanded my participation.

Though the main event was moon watching (obviously) there were performances by three different traditional Japanese music groups. We got there (My dad came to Japan to visit and I went with him,) at around 7, and though we sadly missed the Taiko performance, the other two groups were wonderful, with haunting flute melodies and a great combination of traditional Japanese instruments and a more modern beat. There was also the moon art exhibit, an ongoing art competition based on the theme of the moon, where people could vote for their favorite piece.


It was jam packed with people, and everyone seemed to be having a very relaxing time sitting, snacking on treats, observing the moon through the telescope and just enjoying the sights and sounds.


The moon kept going in and out of clouds which made for a very dramatic scene, and as stereotypical as it sounds, standing next to bamboo and watching the moon through the clouds, I couldn’t help but thinking how very Japanese and zen it all seemed. Then I ate about 15 dango and completely ruined the moment. Oh well.


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