Otsukimi is a Japanese word for moon viewing. Japanese people appreciate the beauty of the moon and show thanks for a good harvest by making decorations with rice-cakes, vegetables, and seasonal plants. The September full moon is considered the most beautiful of all.
In class we have been reading some stories about the moon. Yuri said that in Japan, people believe that they can see the shape of a rabbit on the moon. Tasha said that in Ireland some people can see a man in the moon. We learned a song about a man who lived on the moon and his name was Aitke Drum. Yuri found a video clip showing interviews with people about what shapes they saw on the moon. That gave us the idea to tweet to out twitter followers to ask them what shapes they see in the moon. Tomorrow we are going to skype with one of our school buddies in Indonisia to ask them what shapes they see and to find out if they have Otsukimi.
We found a large floor puzzle which shows the Earth and moon and other planets. We noticed that some of Eric Carle’s books were about the moon. We found some of these books in Japanese and English! Some children went to the library to find other books about the moon. We looked at moon globe on the iPads and talked about the colour and texture of the moon’s surface. Some children chose to make clay models of the moon.
We discovered that in other countries people also celebrate the moon in September. In some countries this is known as a harvest moon. This Sunday (30th September) will be a full moon. The moon should rise at around 17:14 in the Tokyo/ Yokohama area. You might like to do some “moon viewing” with your children on that night, or on the nights just before or after the full moon. Click here to find out what time the moon rises.