Rabbit on the Moon!Posted: October 13, 2009 | Author: Doug | Filed under: Japan | 6 Comments »
This subject was inspired by a few unrelated events that converged around the same time. First, I brought up the subject recently at the end of another post. Second, here in Seattle the Chinese community recently celebrated the Mid-Autumn Harvest Festival which includes the famous moon cakes. One of my friends is Indonesian-Chinese, so I got to enjoy a few of these the last weekend at his house. They’re popular in Japan as well,1 and are called geppei (月餅), which is just the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters. They are not a native dish, but are frequently purchased around this time in China-town communities in Japan, in Yokohama for example.
It is also during this time of the year, that people take part in tsukimi (月見) or moon-viewing. In popular myth, a rabbit lives on the moon making mochi, and so the moon phases are either the rabbit making mochi (waxing phase) or eating it (waning phase). So, during the Harvest Moon, families or young couples go out and enjoy the view. Over time, the foods associated with Tsukimi have changed, though these days tsukimi dango is the food often enjoyed at this time.
So, whatever Moon Festivities you enjoy, hope you have a great Autumn!
1 My wife likes them plenty. I do too.