Moon-viewing Festival (Shiga #6: Ishiyama Temple (石山寺))

My goodness, sorry for the long wait for a new post! I usually have a queue going for Mondays but didn’t schedule correctly… whoops! Let’s go right into my second Postcard Element Post, this time about that bright round thing in this postcard… the moon!

This Monday (September 8th) was a autumn holiday called Tsukimi (“Moon-viewing”) here in Japan. The moon is big, bright, and easy to see this month, and it is coming into harvest time for the rice and other crops, so Tsukimi is a festival to not only enjoy the beautiful moon this time of year, but also to give thanks and prayers for a successful harvest.

It isn’t an official holiday, but there are some traditions associated with it that some people celebrate. For example, many people make Tsukimi dango (Tsukimi dumplings), decorate their homes with fall harvest foods such as persimmons or chestnuts, and decorate the home with bush clover and pampas grass.

I didn’t get any good moon pictures this year (its been rainy and cloudy a lot recently), but I did take a picture of the moon a clear night a little before, and also made Tsukimi dango and decorated last year, so here’s two pictures for you:

Can you see the rabbit?

Happy Tsukimi!

By the way, the postcard is Shiga’s 6th postcard from the Otsu area of a temple called Ishiyama-dera. It is part of the Kansai-Kannon Pilgrimage, and the famous ukiyo-e artist Hiroshige featured it on a famous print called “The Autumn Moon at Ishiyama” (石山の秋月) from his series “The Eight Views of Oumi”. It is also where the world’s first novel, “The Tale of Genji”, was begun by Murasaki Shikibu one full-moon night in August in 1004. So the moon features highly in this postcard! Although I’ve been to Shiga before, my last visit was in 2011, so I don’t have this postcard. I would love to go back and see the prefecture again, though!


One thought on “Moon-viewing Festival (Shiga #6: Ishiyama Temple (石山寺))

  1. Pingback: Shiga #2: Hikone Caste, Lake Biwa, & Chikubu Island (彦根城・琵琶湖・竹生島) | POSTACOLLECT

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