Some words about Japanese culture

Monday, September 25, 2006

The moon

They say that the moon makes people crazy in Western and makes Japanese romantic.

The moon has been a major motif in waka, hakiku, essays and stories. Also it has played an important role in the beauty of Japan, together with the snow and flowers.

Anyway, what attracts people so much? The main attraction is its light. The slight light makes the night the hazy world, quite unlike the lightness in the day and the darkness at night. Japanese prefer to the unclear world and slight difference, made by the dim light. They feel comfortable with them. Originally, watching the moon was for longing for the long life. The continuous wax and wane meant the eternity cycle of life and death, related to the Buddhism.

The moon has also had a big influence on gardens. A balcony to the pond in Katsura Imperial Villa, built more than 400 years ago, is for savoring the moon. The frame was made of wood and the floor was made of bamboo. There is a pond in front of the balcony and people in those days enjoy the reflected moon on the pond, sitting the bamboo floor. Ginkakuji Temple, made more than 600 years ago, has a object made of sand. It looks like a truncated cone. When the night has come, the flat on the top shines like a moon, reflected by the light of the moon. They say that the sand object contains something of quartz to shine better.

In this way the moon greatly related to the beauty in Japan. September or October are best to see the moon because of the mild climate still at night and the clear sky. One of Japanese saying is Tsukimi-zake and it means drinking while watching the moon in autumn. Beer is best during summer, but now hot sake is best in autumn and winter.


  • At 10/08/2006 3:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It has been nice to find these your blogs and all knowledges, what you know and share.
    I have been in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara long time ago. I am very interested in Japan, nice to read about your country! Thanks!
    Greetings from Finland.

  • At 10/10/2006 12:43 AM, Blogger macky said…

    mimmu: Thank you for reading my poor English:-) It is very nice to be interested in Japan. Now I am writing a book on Japanese culture. After finishing writing, I will post again!

  • At 10/22/2006 9:44 PM, Blogger zannnie said…

    wow, you write books...hmm, must let me know when you publish it (in English)I hope"P

  • At 10/24/2006 8:02 AM, Blogger macky said…

    OK, zannnie! I will send you the book if you want:-)

  • At 2/20/2007 8:27 PM, Blogger kalandrakas said…

    hello macky!!
    just happened to google "blogger japan" and found this one...

    thanks for sharing such unique culture in japan... been working here for a year now... and, i'm still so fascinated with its rich culture...

    everyday, i learn something about japan... and, im so lucky i found your blogs... hope you can post again soon...

    thank you


  • At 9/06/2007 5:44 PM, Blogger DanielleRG said…

    Wow, it was nice finding your blog. I liked reading about Shintoism on your blog. I lived in Sendai for two years and learned a lot about Japanese religion.

  • At 3/19/2008 10:07 AM, Blogger Aurelio Asiain said…

    What attracts people to moon is also that it's distant, unreachable and untouchable, although at the same time filling us with an inner light. Our soul is the pond surface reflecting the moon that appears in so many Chinese and Japanese poems. Or better, our soul is like dewdrops for moonlight.


  • At 9/23/2008 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Have been waiting for some new pictures on your Daily Toykyo blog, but I have really enjoyed reading this one as well.
    Don't get to discouraged about your English, you sentences are better then many people out there that have English as their main language.
    Keep on posting, would like to read more of what you have to say.

  • At 11/03/2010 6:00 AM, Anonymous Mia said…

    Hello, my name is Mia. I have always been fascinated with Asian cultures, especially China and Japan, and wish to travel there soon.
    However, I feel it is wrong that something so awful is happening in your otherwise lovely country.
    That is why I'm trying to spread the word about it.
    Please, watch the video you can find directly on
    it's only a couple of minutes long. Please help spread the word, maybe even write about it? And also, I encourage you to see the move THE COVE.
    Thanks for helping

  • At 11/18/2010 6:16 AM, Anonymous Lalique said…

    Helloo from here too
    walking in your blogs :))
    from Turkey

  • At 3/29/2011 11:25 AM, Blogger Asobime said…

    A lovely blog that helps people understand Japan and Japanese culture. We need more of this.

    I send you a haiku:

    "Under the dark moon

    I awaited your return

    Only shadows came."

    My deepest sympathy with the Japanese people at this time.

    Lady Nyo


Post a Comment

<< Home