Annual Events: OTSUKIMI
お月見, moon viewing is an annual event originally introduced from China and held around mid-September to early October when it is said that the most beautiful full moon of the year can be seen. It is also called 十五夜 (the fifteenth night of the month), since it was held on the night of 15 August the Japanese lunar calendar. On お月見 day, people offer だんご (dumplings) and すすき (Japanese silver grass) to the gods and give thanks for the autumn harvest while watching the full moon.
Why do people view the moon?
Since ancient times, the moon has been sacred in Japan. Farmers, in particular, considered the full moon a symbol of fertility, so they looked to the moon and gave thanks for a good harvest. The moon god is also said to be the god related to agriculture.
In Japan, people also believe that rabbits live on the moon. This is based on a Buddhist legend.
Watch the video below to find out more about this story.
Tsukimi Story: https://youtu.be/KSBjLEpvFvk
OTSUKIMI Class Activities
Students can do activities related to お月見.
ACTIVITY 1 Make an original OTSUKIMI display
Students make their own original display. Download and use the craft sheet.
STEP 1: Prepare paper plates. You can punch a hole in the top of the paper plate and tie a ribbon or string through it to decorate the wall.
STEP 2: Students cut out the illustrations from the craft sheet and stick them anywhere they like on the paper plate. Glue the labels next to the matching illustrations. There are labels for tracing and blank labels. If students can write hiragana without tracing, please use blank labels.
STEP 3: Students can add their own touch by filling out the blank places with additional illustrations.
ACTIVITY 2 SING A SONG FOR OTSUKIMI
Sing along with the following videos.
ACTIVITY 3 Create a story about the moon
Look at the pattern of the moon and create a story about what lives there and what it does.
You can download and use the worksheet to help students think as they answer the questions.
ACTIVITY 4 Have a OTSUKIMI party
If having a moon viewing party in class, what food would students bring?
They come up with an original menu. Students draw illustrations and briefly explain what the menu would look like.
Resource created by Shoko Adachi (August 2023).