Harvest Moon Viewing 
- September 29th in 2023 -


 

 

 

Otsukimi (Moon Viewing) in Japan

 

In Japan, since the Heian period (794–1185), people among the noble class started to enjoy admiring the moon on the Lunar 15th of August. This custom came from China.

Moon viewing became popular among citizens in the Edo period. Since then people have put Japanese pampas, dumplings, and other things on the porch and other places where they can see the moon, and enjoy moon-viewing.

 

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Offerings for Moon Viewing

 
The decorations are various, depending on the area. Usually, people offer dumplings that look like the full moon and Japanese pampas grass where they can see the moon.
 


 

 

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You’d better see the moon on the lunar 13th of September?

 
In Japan, people used to say that if you see the harvest moon, you have to see the moon on the lunar 13th of September (27th of October this year, 2023), or it is inauspicious.
*The lunar 15th of August is the harvest moon, it is not always the full moon. Luckily, the full moon and the harvest moon are the same day this year!

 

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Why on the Lunar 15th of August?

 
In Autumn and Winter, the air is the driest and clear of the year, so you can see the moon very clearly. Also, it is not so chilly even at night time.
For these reasons, people started to have the custom of moon viewing.
The harvest moon is called “Chushu-no-Meigetsu (中秋の名月)” or “Jugo-ya(十五夜)”. “Chushu-no-Meigetsu” means “the beautiful moon on the middle day of August in the lunar calender”.

“Jugo-ya” also means “the middle day of the month in the lunar calender (in this case the middle day of August).

Yes, Japanese people say that the Lunar 15th of August is the night that you can see the most beautiful moon of the year!

 

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Moon Viewing in Kagoshima

 
In Kagoshima, some districts still have the custom that everyone from children to old people gather on this night and sumo-wrestle and play at tug-of-war.

Until last year, many of these events were canceled due to the new coronavirus infection, but this year, they are likely to be resumed in many areas.
Below is a list of Kagoshima’s Moon Viewing events.

 

JUGOYA SORAYOI (十五夜そらよい)

 

This event is a traditional event held on the night of the lunar 15th of August, when boys wear straw hats and waistcoats and stamp their feet on the ground while shouting “Sorayoi, Sorayoi” to wish for and thank the gods of the land for a bountiful harvest.
Tug of war and sumo wrestling are also held.
Date & Time: September 29 (Fri) 6:00 pm ~
Place: Ukibe Area, Higashi-beppu, Kori, Chiran Town, Minami-kyushu City
Website (Japanese):https://www.pref.kagoshima.jp/al01/event/nannsatu/r5-9-29-15yasorayoi.html
 

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SORAYOI (そらよい)

 

On the lunar 15th of August night, boys between the ages from 7 to 14 wear straw hats and waistcoats and stamp their feet on the ground with the call of “Sorayoi, Sorayoi” to wish and thank the god of the earth for a good harvest.
Tug of war and sumo wrestling are also held.
Date & Time: September 29 (Fri) 7:00 pm ~ 9:00 pm
Place: Nakafukura Elementary School, Nagasato, Chiran Town, Minami-kyushu City
Website (Japanese):

http://www.pref.kagoshima.jp/ab10/kyoiku-bunka/bunka/museum/shichoson/minamikyusyu/jugoya.html

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MOON VIEWING DANCE (Jugoya-odori / 十五夜踊り)・DONTOSE (ドントセ)・LIGHTING FIRE (Hi-toboshi / 火とぼし)

 

These are traditional and unique events that have been handed down in each of the three districts of Bonotsu Town.
Date & Time: September 29 (Fri)  7:00 pm ~ 9:00 pm
Place: Nakafukura Elementary School, Nagasato, Chiran Town, Minami-kyushu City
Date & Time: MOON VIEWING DANCE (Jugoya-odori / 十五夜踊り) September 30 (Sat) 7:00 pm ~ 8:30 pm
DONTOSE (ドントセ) September 30 (Sat) 6:30 pm ~
LIGHTING FIRE (Hi-toboshi / 火とぼし) September 29 (Fri) 6:30 pm ~
Place: MOON VIEWING DANCE (Jugoya-odori / 十五夜踊り)@Tomari Area, Bonotsu Town 
DONTOSE (ドントセ)@Torigoe Area, Bo, Bonotsu Town
 LIGHTING FIRE (Hi-toboshi / 火とぼし)@Kaminobo Area, Bo, Bonotsu Town
Website (Japanese):https://kanko-minamisatsuma.jp/event/7547/
Events Datails (Japanese)

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STAR WATCHING “AUTUMN MOON VIWEING” (スターウォッチング「仲秋の名月観月会」)

 

In addition to the moon-viewing event, an otsukimi concert and storytelling will be held at the Amami Shonen Shizen-no Ie.
Date:September 29 (Fri) 7:00 pm ~ 8:30 pm
Place:Amami Shonen Shizen-no Ie
Website (Japanese):
http://www.pref.kagoshima.jp/bc09/kikan/amami/jigyo/honnen_jigyou/r5starwatchingtyusyunomeigetu.html

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Category : text @en

Tag : 24 divisions of the solar year , 24sekki , corona virus , COVID-19 , COVID19 , Emergency , Japanese culture , season , tanabata , The coronavirus , 日本の文化

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