Weather conditions may not have been ideal for moon viewing at the United Japanese Society of Hawaii’s annual Tsukimi no Kai (moon viewing) party, but those who attended the event were still inspired to write haiku, make flower arrangements, and enjoy delicious foods and fellowship.
Moon viewing is a traditional Japanese custom of greeting and honoring the full moon on the night of Aug. 15 of the lunar calendar. The moon viewing custom was introduced to Japan from China during the Nara and Heian periods (710-1185).
This year’s event, which was held Oct. 27 at Kapi‘olani Community College, began with a Shintö blessing by Rev. Akihiro Okada of the Daijingu Temple of Hawaii.
Kaoru Nakamura-Sensei presented a brief history of haiku and some tips on writing haiku. Guests were also encouraged to fold origami or make flower arrangements with the help of Faye Shigemura.
Students in KCC’s Culinary Arts Program prepared dinner, and spirits were provided by Randy Kuba of Lotus Spirits. Guests also enjoyed koto music by Darin Miyashiro and shakuhachi by Chris Molina.
A mini bon dance led by the Iwakuni Odori Aiko Kai closed the evening’s festivities.