Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Friday, October 06, 2006

Where Is That Confounded Moon...?

It is the evening of October 6th, 2006. In the Chinese world, according to the Lunar Calendar, it is the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Lantern Festival, Moon Festival, or Mooncake Festival. Since I am fortunate enough to be blessed with a variety of wonderful Chinese friends in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Macau, and elsewhere (though I'm not currently acquainted with any in China or Taiwan...go figure...), I've been learning a lot about this colorful event. Check out these posts by Robin, Happysurfer, Pink Panther, and FH2o for more information about its history and customs.

Whoever thought that overthrowing the Mongol hordes would lead to such an interesting festival? If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times: those amazing Chinese!

I'm sure everyone everywhere there is a substantial Chinese population is having a wonderful time this evening getting together with family and/or friends, feasting, drinking, eating mooncakes, and enjoying the beautiful lanterns hung out on this enchanted evening. Here in Japan, however...we are praying we won't get either washed or blown away.

You see, right now there are two (as in 1 + 1) large typhoons off our coast, and they are actually converging. I've never seen anything like it before. It's bloody scary! The weather people assure us there's no chance of either of those big, ugly, spinning things hitting us directly, but all the wind and rain being kicked up and sent our way by their combined force might as well be a third typhoon all its own. Today we have already gotten more than 25% of the normal rainfall for an entire year, and it's still coming down. The wind is howling like some insane Demon Chorus of Azathoth (never mind...). It's not as bad as it was a few hours ago; the windows and doors were bulging inward so far I thought for sure one of them would shatter, but they didn't. Now it's only strong enough to make the house shake...and keep us awake all night. Needless to say, there are no lanterns, and definitely no moon to be seen.

We had to deal with this weather all day. Getting to and from ye olde academy was an exercise in bravery, and a lot of students wound up getting stranded by shut-down trains and sealed-off bridges. It was a strange day at the school today, to be sure.

Tomorrow might be even stranger. It's going to be another of our music club's Saturday Afternoon Concerts at the academy. Those are usually a lot of fun, but today's dress rehearsal got wiped out by the typhoon-induced Autumn storm. I only hope it doesn't wind up a mass of confusion tomorrow...

On a totally unrelated note (G# I think), many of you may have noticed that I've been making a lot of poems, tanka, limericks, sonnets, etc. out of word verification codes. Not so long ago, on Pa've's Peculiar Pabulum, Dewkid suggested we make sentences out of our word verification codes. Since my poetry muse was feeling itchy for some reason one day, I cranked out a tanka based on my code at the time. That got me started, and I've been going crazy with it (and probably driving other people crazy at the same time) ever since. No, it hasn't been easy; some verses just drop out of my brain like seagull graffiti, but others take a fair amount of time and thought. I've given myself some pretty nasty headaches doing it, to be sure. However, I've also noticed that, lately, I've been far more mentally awake and alert than I've been in ages. I've also been more motivated, better able to concentrate, and less forgetful, which means I've been getting more things done at work and probably doing a better job of it. It's true that the brain needs exercise just like the body, and I guess mine was in desperate need of losing some cobwebs. Besides, if I can't get rid of this extra few centimeters of padding I picked up in Australia, at least I can do something for my mind.


Happy Moon Festival, everyone!


  • We have a huge Chinatown and I never heard anything about it.
    I do remember last year I was there and everyone was making Mooncakes, but I didn't know why.

    My friend who taught English in Taiwan a couple of years ago told me about Thai new year and the lanterns floating on the water. I think Chinese lanterns are magical.

    Hey, I hope you all are ok this weekend.
    We're expecting an Atlantic storm with gale force winds tonight. The rain was chucking down all day, and a few Tube stations were closed due to flooding, but it's all nothing compared to your 1+1 typhoon.

    By Blogger Olivia, at 6:17 AM  

  • Hope you guys there are okay with the storms raging. Here it is just drought - water rstrictions - and many of the crops have failed.
    Okay I'll see what I can write using the word verification letters!

    By Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog, at 6:58 AM  

  • In London there's the usual unpredictable showers + sunshine within the same day... I stopped looking at weather forecast, and I understood now why during the older time, British always have a hat and an umbrella whenever they go out.

    happy lantern festival!

    By Blogger YD, at 6:26 PM  

  • I also posted about the moon festival last year, hehehe..

    just check out at:

    By Blogger Selba, at 11:27 PM  

  • can only imagine what the next few days will be like for ya. hope all goes well w/ these storms and you don't get any serious damage at home and such.

    By Blogger tooners, at 6:26 PM  

  • I wonder if now would bea good time to discuss the "Hollow Moon" theory!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:44 AM  

  • That was an amazing storm, but as you've pointed out in the past, the skies afterward have been beautiful.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 1:04 PM  

  • "...I've been going crazy with it (and probably driving other people crazy at the same time) ever since."

    The only thing that drives me crazy about it is my own inability to do that.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 2:16 PM  

  • A good time to stay indoors and just enjoy the mooncakes.

    By Anonymous FH2o, at 3:30 PM  

  • MM, hope the weather has improved. How was the concert? Wonderful as usual, I'm sure. Thanks for the link.

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 5:54 PM  

  • Praying that the weather will improve, a bit more rain in Asia, and less of the wind in your place.

    the Haze is killing animals in Kuching.. so sad for the cats.

    By Blogger Robin, at 6:22 PM  

  • I can show you a moon....

    By Anonymous Some Guy, at 7:53 AM  

  • Hey Moody,

    I had a very vivid dream the night before last that I came to Japan to visit you, and you took me on a tour of Japan... using hang-gliders. It was waaaay cool, and you and I had a ball, zooming in and out of crowded streets, and among the trees. It was one of the few times where I dreamed of flying, and didn't worry about powerlines. (seriously)

    I was kinda bummed when I woke up.

    Join a bird in flight
    Each time you go to sleep
    Worry not of powerlines
    Lord, my soul to keep
    Open your eyes
    All is wise

    By Blogger DewKid, at 8:08 AM  

  • What if your hang glider wiiiiiiinds around a power line?

    By Anonymous The Kite Man, at 9:33 AM  

  • Arrgh...Arrgh...Dreams.
    Don’t mention about dreams anymore, terrible, TERRIBLE!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Policewoman, at 3:54 PM  

  • What a coincidence!

    Speaking of dreams, I recently had one (while I was in bed last Sunday night with a severe cold in a hotel room in Atami) in which I was taking several people, including some of my regular blog "circle" and friends from back home, on a tour of Japan. No hang-gliders, though; just...

    Ah, never mind. Let's just say it was dramatic, chaotic, and bizarre before I woke up.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 6:49 PM  

  • Oh gawd, a Kite Man reference!!! I haven't thought about HIM in a long time!! :-)

    Remember the Druuuug Buuuuug?

    By Blogger DewKid, at 3:13 AM  

  • What do you do if your kite winds around a pile driver underneath a cement truck in the middle of a lake on a boat with no oars, and surrounded by man eating sharks who haven't eaten in a month, while dancing across the backs of electric eels?


    No no no!

    You call the appliance repair man!

    I dreamed I was a giant pickle with arms and legs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:45 AM  

  • Pa've, you ARE a giant pickle with arms and legs! Or was that your evil twin?

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 12:10 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home