Sunday, September 18, 2016

Moon (Non-)Viewing

9/17/16 brush pen, colored pencils
Otsukimi (“moon viewing”) is the Japanese tradition of celebrating the autumn full moon with poetry, music and general festivities. On a warm, clear night, it must be nothing short of magical to gaze peacefully at the rising moon while listening to live cello music and haiku readings.

That warm, clear night, however, did not materialize for us yesterday at Seattle Japanese Garden, which annually hosts Otsukimi for the September Harvest Moon. We were lucky to have a brief reprieve from the rain and high winds that had battered us most of the day – just long enough to enjoy some of that cello music. By the time I started putting a little color on my sketch, it started spitting, and when I switched to my small Field Notes notebook, the spitting had turned to rain. Otsukimi revelers didn’t miss a beat; they just opened their umbrellas and pulled up their hoods.
9/17/16 brush pen, white gel pen

You might wonder why we chose to go to Otsukimi on such a blustery night. The Japanese Garden starts selling tickets to the highly popular event a month ahead of the date, and it sells out almost immediately. We’ve been wanting to attend for years, but we were always either out of town or weren’t able to get tickets in time. Knowing we’d be in town this year, we pounced on them as soon as tickets were available. Of course, you can’t predict weather a month out, and late September is always iffy.

Ah, well. The clouds never parted long enough to reveal that elusive Harvest Moon, but we all knew it was shining up there somewhere.

At least our bento box dinners stayed dry!


  1. Sorry that the weather wasn't optimal for the moon was lovely here. It doesn't seem like it affected your sketch or your enjoyment.

    1. I did enjoy it, and the serenity and beauty of the garden and music was still there, despite the moon's no-show! ;-)

      - Tina


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