• Short Summary

    A moon viewing party was held at Hakone, a summer and winter resort south of Tokyo on the night of September 9.

  • Description

    A moon viewing party was held at Hakone, a summer and winter resort south of Tokyo on the night of September 9.

    The picture shows a fine view of the Hakone range as taken from the Jikkoku Path.

    It is the time-honored custom in Japan to hold a moon viewing party at every household on this night and it has been handed down for many centuries.

    Now, the beautiful moon rises up on her nightly journey. Sometimes she gets tarnished by the clouds. Then she resumes her brilliancy.

    At the scene of the moon viewing party atop the Jikkoku Path, fire is built and the year's new crop is offered as part of Shinto ceremonies which are attended by some 50 local dignitaries including poets and officiated at by the chief priest of a local Shinto shrine.

    Winds are blowing as though the recent typhoon is still lingering.

    A Japanese flute called "Shakuhachi" is played to add poetic atmosphere redolent of old Japan to the scene. After a purification ceremony the chief priest offers typical Shinto ritual prayers to the moon while all attendants listen to them with solemn faces.

    Again the round beautiful moon shines brilliantly on the ceremonial scene.

    An ancient Japanese court music is played landing the beauty of the moon by flute players and a drummer. The seven musicians clad in ancient costumes are all Shinto priests. The pensive melody echoes in the surrounding mountains and the participants in the ceremony listen attentively.

    After the ceremony, the participants start composing poems. They write them on paper with Japanese brushes.

    Their poems are read to the moon one after another. A woman is reading her work.

    As though appreciating their poems, the moon now and then appears from behind the fleeing clouds.

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    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
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