Moon-Viewing (お月見)

Otsukimi (お月見), literally meaning, “moon-viewing” is a tradition that dates to the Heian era (794-1185).

Tsukimi traditions include displaying decorations made from Japanese pampas grass (susuki) and eating sweet rice dumplings called tsukimi dango in order to celebrate the beauty of the moon.

In this fluff post, I'll share some of my favorite images of this late summer celebration.

First starting with the full moon and the rabbit.

Many old tales circulated that you could see the rabbit preparing the sweet rice balls (dango) in the shadows of the moon.

While viewing the full moon, children throughout the centuries have been asked, “Look! Can't you see the rabbit making the sweet rice balls?”

If you look just right, you can see the rabbit hunched over, making dango.

Now, the imagery becomes an artistic form of expression found in various ways.

Seasonal food boxes

Japanese décor


An antique brass tsuba (鍔), the hand guard of a sword

Lacquered fountain pen with 14k gold

Traditional sweets

Even in a reflection, moon-viewing can be enjoyed in your sake cup!

From a 18th century woodblock print, we can see how the tradition of a moon-viewing gathering was part of life in Japan, that still continues today.

Enjoy your own personal moon-viewing, wherever you may be.