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.

Click here for more Otsukimi pictures

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.

You can find out more about moon viewing on the websites below:
English Otsukimi website


4 thoughts on “Otsukimi

  1. Hi KC, Last night we saw the moon, but it wasn’t a full moon. Angus told me that some people see the shape of a rabbit on the moon, but I didnt’ understand what he meant. Now I’ve read your blog I know what Otsukimi is, I have never heard of that before, and I understand what Angus was talking about. Thank you.

  2. Hi this is Jaiden’s big brother, Jaiden says, “Hi Miss Natasha, I like how you get this Aiken Drum in your country. Also, I like the story “Papa please give me the Moon.” I like this story because I like how they do the details and I like how they show the long ladder and I like how they do the arrows and I like how they open all the pages up and i like how they show the big moon. I like a lot of stuff!.”

  3. Wow! I love learning about all these different beliefs about our beautiful moon! Did you know in Mexico our mythology tells us the Sun is the Father Sun and the Moon is the Mother Moon. Your Mother Moon is watching over you sweet Sofia! Love you xx

  4. Dear KC,
    Thank you for this beautiful post about moon viewing. Last night while I was sitting in my balcony, I was thinking that the moon looked really different than before. I couldn’t see the rabbit, though the colors were really nice… If you would like to be a part of the harvest moon viewing, you can go to the Sankeien Gardens in Yokohama. It seems like they have some events going on for moon viewing till Monday.Please look at their website for more information. (http://www.sankeien.or.jp/)
    Have a nice day!
    Ms. Elif

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