Jugoya Full Moon and Rabbits

Jugoya, Full Moon

It is becoming the middle of Autumn ‘Chushu (中秋)’. Actually it is this Thursday, the 15th of September this year and that is the day we can see the Full Moon. The night of the day is called ‘Jugoya / 十五夜’ (‘Jugo‘ means fifteen and ‘Ya (Yoru)’ means night). Basically it is the Fifteenth Moon from the New Moon, hence the Full Moon.

In Japan we have a custom of ‘Tsukimi (月見)’ (viewing the Full Moon) on this day. It came from China during Nara / Heian period (8-11 C) into the life of upper class people. They had a party viewing the Full Moon and read poems about it. Later on in Edo period (17-19C) it was taken to common people as well and the day was combined with the festival for farmers to hope for a good harvest.

Nowadays, it is still the same. We enjoy viewing the Full Moon. We look forward to the clear sky with the beautiful Moon. On the day we prepare for the night by placing ‘Susuki (Japanese Silver Grass)’ and of course some sweets. What kind of sweet the family have depends on which region where they live but mostly they are ‘Mochi‘ type.

Chocolate Full Moon Yokan and Rabbits

So I made these Japanese sweets for Jugoya Night, one is the Full Moon Yokan in Chocolate flavour and the other one is Moon Rabbit.

chocolate-moon-yokan-with-rabbits-2

Chocolate Full Moon Yokan

This brown square Japanese sweet is steamed ‘Yokan‘. It is made of Azuki bean paste as the base and I added some Chocolate powder in order to make it slightly more for Western people’s taste. I don’t know how it looks like to other people’s eyes but it is supposed to be the Full Moon in the sky over a green mountain. The green part is of course coloued and flavoured with ‘Matcha‘ powder.

chocolate-moon-yokan-front

I attempted making this design several times and have to say it was quite tricky. The biggest problem was deciding what kind of material I should use for creating the yellow Moon part. After combining all the elements into one block in two stages I steamed and cut it. Then, I found a few times that the yellow part did not give a clean cut …

chocolate-moon-yokan-halved

I have to say I was not 100% satisfied yet, however, I know the problems now so I can only improve next time.

By the way, doesn’t the image of my ‘Yokan with Rabbits’ on the top of this page remind you of some famous scene? Something like this one ….

odtssey2001_03

Of course this scene is from the film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (Dir. Stanley Kubrick) as you know. Maybe the Monolith was made of Yokan then?   😀

chocolate-moon-yokan-with-rabbits-3

Do you see some similarity?

Hope to see the beautiful Full Moon tomorrow night!

The article about my Moon Rabbit follows to the next post.

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