Friday, June 5, 2009

Hello Salad Kitty!

This salad bento features home-grown sprouts, carrot flowers, white radish bundled into the carrot flower cutout rings, a babybel cheese with the flower cutout, walnuts, plum vinegar bunny, cucumber pickle, sesame tofu, and Andy the Axe-Murderer (hard boiled egg).

I don't know why making a simple friendly egg face always gets me this type of scary result.

This furoshiki with little rabbits frolicking or staring at the moon is my favorite. Why do rabbits frolic in the moonlight on so many Japanese art works? Is there a rabbit mythology?

There's a "moon viewing festival" in Japan and there's a rabbit on the moon:


The festival of 'O-tsukimi' is the moon viewing festival based on the Japanese Folk Tale of 'The rabbit in the Moon'. From this Folk Tale the Japanese people have believed since long ago, that rabbits lived on the moon. Even today in Japan, the moon is pictured with the scene of a rabbit or rabbits making mochi (pounded rice cakes).

During this time the moon has a special name 'Chuushuu-no-meigetsu' which in English means 'the picturesque moon of mid-autumn'. This moon occurs during July, August and September in Japan on the lunar calendar. During the months of September and October, the weather in Japan is clear with few clouds and the moon is all the more beautiful, perfect for 'Otsukimi'.

The Japanese people celebrate 'O-tsukimi' by making 'Moon viewing rice balls' and collecting 'Aki-no-nan' which are the typical flowering grasses of autumn. These are bush clover, pampas grass, arrowroot, fringed pink, patrinia palmata, agueweed and Chinese bellflower. After the rice balls are made, and the 'Aki-no-nan' collected, they are offered to the gods to pray for a good harvest on their crops for a year.

The story of 'The rabbit in the Moon' is a story about the Old-Man-of-the-Moon who one day looked down into a big forest on Earth and saw three friends sitting together around a fire. These three were a rabbit, a monkey and a fox. On deciding to find out which of the three is the kindest, he goes down to Earth and changes himself into a beggar. He asks the three friends to help him and that he is very hungry, on hearing this they all run of to find him some food. The monkey brought back a lot of fruit to the man and the fox brought back a big fish. However, the rabbit is unable to find any food for the man, and so asks the monkey to gather some firewood and the fox to build a big fire with the wood. Once the fire was burning very brightly, the rabbit explained to the beggar that he didn't have anything to give him, so he will put himself in the fire and when he is cooked the beggar could eat him. Just before the rabbit jumped into the fire the beggar turned back into the Old-Man-of-the-Moon and told the rabbit that he was very kind, and that he shouldn't do anything to harm himself. Because he decides that the rabbit is the kindest of the three, he takes him back to the moon to live with him.

That is why the Japanese people believe that if they look carefully at the moon when it is shining brightly, they can see the rabbit there, where the old man put him so very long ago."

(This info comes from Latrobe University Australia's website, from what looks to be a student project on Japanese folk tales. Thanks Elisha Brooks and yay for student mythology projects!!)

So maybe these little bunnies are celebrating Otsukimi!

Or maybe they're just happy that It's Friday!! YAAAAY!!


  1. What a neat little story! Thanks for posting that!! You are completely right - there are tons of Japanese items with usgai and moons and NOW I KNOW WHY! I am now smarter than I was before clicking on your blog...

    You have to add that he is "Anime" Andy the Axe Murderer. He has typical anime style eyes!!! Like this: ^__^

    I keep forgetting to ask you - are you completely done with your Mr. Bento? Are you ever going to pull it out again?

    Have a fab weekend!

  2. Avie, I was never able to make Mr. Bento truly cute. However I still use him when I have a soup jones, and that will be soon again since I got some really beautiful red miso recently. Mr. Bento is the best for soup, and for trips. Anime eyes!! I like that...

  3. Oh, you will have to post how you make the miso soup! I have yet to figure that one out...