An exploration of Japanese culture and the moon

Kindergarten and Year 1 Japanese students have been learning about the Japanese tradition of Otsukimi, a moon viewing, celebrated on 13 September each year.

Year 1 Japanese students recently enjoyed learning about the event and explored how it is celebrated in Japan.

Machiko Sensei said a craft activity helped students deepen their understanding of the event.

“Otsukimi is a day people enjoy viewing the most beautiful moon of the year,” said Machiko Sensei.

“On Otsukimi day, people enjoy susuki (silver grass), otsukimi dango (sweet rice dumplings) and some fruits and
vegetables.”

Machiko explained “月にうさぎがすんでいます。(Tsuki ni usagi ga
sundeimasu)”, and showed a picture of two rabbits making rice cakes in the moon.

The students called out “いいえ!!(iie)” showing their strong disagreement.

“Kindy students made an Usagi using origami paper and glued it on the Tsuki, while Year 1
students cut paper to make Tsuki and Usagi,” she said.

“The students loved the craft activity and couldn’t wait to take it home to show it to their families.”

“The following week, the students were asked if they saw the full moon and checked if there
were rabbits making rice cakes. Most children responded “いいえ!!(iie)” while a few of
them said “はい!(hai)”.