Moon Viewing お月見

Sep 26, 2023


Cherry blossom viewing is a famous event but there is also Moon viewing called otukimiin Japan. In 2023,29th of September is the day as it is full moon. I would like to introduce 1)Japanese attached feeling to the Moon, 2) the reason why we enjoy otsukimi and 3) things to do on otsukimi. I hope it will be good learning for your life. 


1)According to Wikipedia, there is a record that Japanese people loved and enjoyed the Moon even back in Jomon-period (approximately BC 12000 – BC 2300). The Tale of Bamboo Cutterknown asPrincess Kaguyawas written during Heian period (AD 794 – 1185) and it shows the special feelings towards the Moon.


2)Therefore, it can be quite natural that Japanese people enjoy the full Moon. It is said that the full Moon in September is the most beautiful. In addition, it is said that this is the day that people appreciate the harvest this year. Also it is a wish for a good harvest in the following year. I can imagine this feeling because it cannot be always easy to harvest under the danger of unstoppable typhoons, earthquakes, and eruptions of volcanoes in Japan.


3) Onotsukimi, people offertsukimi-dangoround rice cake)’piled up like a pyramid and the harvest of the year to the Moon.  Also we decorate susuki(pampas grass)which is one of the 7 grasses of autumn.


When I was living in Japan, we offered tsukimi-dango and decorated susuki. But we offered some chestnuts and grapes that we bought at a supermarket, because we were not farmers!


In the modern lifestyle, people seem to be too busy to enjoy otsukimi. However, I feel purified and energized when I see the night sky. How about you? I am going to see the night sky in the Uk tonight!

みなさんは月に対してどのような思いがありますか。月に何かお供えをしたりしますか。 今回も何か学びがあったら嬉しいです。

Do you have any feelings towards the Moon? In your country, do you have an occasion to offer something to the Moon? I hope you have learnt something for your life.


「輝いて」- Enrich your life!

Mineko Arai

Managing Director

Arai Academy of Japanese Studies

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