Size 21 inch x 16 inch (51cm x 41cm)
Monday, 1 February 2021
A bright, large, gleaming full moon illuminates the midnight sky for a few days now. Yesterday’s brutal, bitter cold wind cleared clouds away. I could not stop admiring the beauty even I was standing outside chilled to my bones. Moon affects tidal waves – I vaguely remember we learned that in school. I read an article of how tidal waves and moon are related to each other on the BBC website, Bitesize. At the time our planet earth and the sun and the moon are lined up, the difference of the high and low tide becomes largest due to the moon’s gravitational pull getting strongest. Worth knowing…
Japanese culture comprises many peculiar concepts existing to be understood only by people who grew up in the country or raised by parents who follow Japanese traditional ways of living. I was taught every time we look at a full moon, we see a bunny who is pounding ‘mochi rice’ with a ‘Kine’ (wooden mallet of a sort) in an ‘Usu’ (mortar/large stamp mill type). Pounding ‘mochi rice’ in this fashion plays a very important role during the New Year’s celebration. Still no idea how the bunny got involved to operate this mission on the full moon. Today, I tragically can no longer see it on the surface. What a shame (grin).
Two of my all time favourite Japanese folklore tales are ‘Momotaro’ (the peach boy) and Taketori monogatari (the tale of the bamboo cutter or princess Kaguya). Allowed me to omit details here, they both have a similar storyline. Hard working yet less fortunate elderly couple who has no children, inadvertently end up discovering a baby in the most absurd place. A peach boy in the huge peach streaming down the river and a princess Kaguya in the stalk of a bamboo tree (moon is her home). Both grew up to demonstrate a filial piety in repaying the debt of gratitude. No intention of mocking these stories. All I wanted to create was a huge peach to surprise my hip full moon.
Then I became so greedy. This time, I wanted to add one more mythical creature – how about a kappa! This green, human-like figure with a turtle shell on its back and a plate on its head cannot survive without keeping its plate moist. This imp is small and well known for its mischievous behaviour and is always scaring people. Kappa’s favourite food is cucumber. Yes I wanna know why too. By the way, I came up with the best fitted title for this picture. A letter ‘K’ in Italian is read ‘Kappa’. How amazing!