Thursday, October 17, 2019

Momijigari • 紅葉狩り • Autumn leaves hunting 2019

SJG • 10/6/19
All photos by Tony

Momijigari (紅葉狩り) is the Japanese tradition of visiting areas where leaves have turned red in the autumn. The word comes from the two Japanese words momiji (紅葉) meaning "red leaves" or "maple tree" and kari (狩り), "hunting". It is also called kōyō (紅葉). "Kōyō" is another pronunciation of the characters for "momiji".

Here is a list of destinations in Japan for viewing the autumn leaves from Japan. Endless discovery.

SJG • 10/6/19

SJG • 10/6/19
SJG • 10/6/19

SJG • 10/6/19

SJG • 10/6/19

SJG • 10/6/19 - Kamishibai story-time: Kaguya-hime

Kamishibai: THE MOON PRINCESS • Kaguya-Hime

 Kami +  shibai
paper + play or drama

MUKASHI MUKASHI    Long (long) ago…
Kaguya-Hime               Princess Kaguya
oya                              hey!
obaa-san                   grandma,old woman
ojii-san                         grandpa, old man
sayonara                      goodbye
fushi  不死                   eternity
OSHIMAI                      the end

    Friday, September 20, 2019

    2019 Moon Viewing Haiku Contest Winners

    SJG - 9/13/19 - Moon viewing - otsukimi

    by Michael Dylan Welch
    pics by Tony, except the very top and bottom ones (by aleks)

    2019 Moon Viewing Haiku Contest

             Judged on Friday by Michelle Schaefer and Michael Dylan Welch
             Judged on Saturday by Tanya McDonald and Michael Dylan Welch

    In 2019, for the first time, the Seattle Japanese Garden’s annual moon viewing festival took place over two nights instead of one—on Friday, September 13, and Saturday, September 14, 2019. We received 80 entries the first night, and 96 the second night, for a total of 176 entries. The moon itself, our honored guest, seemed content to stay hidden behind clouds. The following are our selections for both nights. On the Saturday evening, many participants wrote about a heron that perched on stones at the pond’s edge for an hour or more, sometime preening. We selected poems for their clarity, freshness, sometimes humor, and for evocatively portraying the moon, even if we couldn’t see it. First prize both nights was a garden membership and T-shirt. Second prize was a T-shirt and garden postcards, and third prize was postcards. Our congratulations to each of the winners, and to everyone who tried their hand at writing haiku, and our gratitude to the Seattle Japanese Garden for its ongoing support of haiku through these annual contests.

    For more information about Haiku Northwest, which meets monthly in the Seattle area, and holds an annual haiku retreat, please visit

    SJG - 9/13/19 - Moon viewing - otsukimi

    Friday, September 13, 2019

    First Place

    the harvest moon
    inspires us to come out—
    whether it does or not

             Bill McGee                                                                                             

    Second Place

    paper lanterns glow
    I’m walking with you tonight
    hoping for moonlight

             Tim Flowers                                                                                          

    Third Place

    mouths open—
    orange and black koi
    wait to swallow the moon

             Meg Pearson                                                                                        

    SJG - 9/13/19 - Moon viewing - otsukimi. Very large Indigo Array, a site specific collaborative installation  by Spit Shot Collaborative ( and Botanical Colors ( An array of fabric planes dyed with botanically derived indigo is suspended high in the pines of SJG and backlit with high-powered lighting, evoking a celestial phenomenon of unknown origin

    Honorable Mentions
    (in alphabetical order by last name)

    these fireflies dance
    on a stage of cloudy skies
    a hundred small moons

             Victor Aque

    wind ripples the moonlit water
    I stroll in a dance
    with my shadow

             Barbara Blakistone

    faces upturned to catch
    the shining glow from the moon
    disappointed by gray clouds

             Stacey Giard

    SJG - 9/13/19 - Moon viewing - otsukimi

    summer nights . . .
    children playing
    moon watching

             Tarun Gopinath

    full moon looms large and gray
    above Seattle’s clouds
    —I assume

             Iain Heath

    you on one continent
    me on another
    see the same moon

             Zanny Milo

    SJG - 9/13/19 - Moon viewing - otsukimi. Okinawan Music and Dance by Mako & Manjuru

    bright silver above—
    the scent of water heavy
    in the cooling air

             Stephanie Morris

    grey skies—
    the promise of the moon
    waiting to be uncovered

             Paul Pietromonaco

    we waited all week
    to gaze upon the full moon
    but alas the clouds

             Laura Templeton

    SJG - 9/13/19 - Moon viewing - otsukimi

    Saturday, September 14, 2019

    First Place

    the heron grooms—
    he must look his best
    for the harvest moon

             Erica J. Thomas                                                                                  

    Second Place

    music coaxes
    the moon
    heron closes his eyes

             Gwen Stamm                                                                                       

    Third Place

    another moon viewing
    and only
    cloud viewing

             Joan Stamm                                                                                         

    SJG - 9/13/19 - Moon viewing - otsukimi

    Honorable Mentions
    (in alphabetical order by last name)

    cedar and hemlock
    whispering in the moon’s light
    their silent secrets

             David Blatner

    treetops rustle   gentle wind
    beckoning moonbeams,
    come out to play

             Jeanne Boland

    red moss seems fragile
    friends whisper while walking near
    we see our moon bright

             Michelle Hanson

    SJG - 9/13/19 - Moon viewing - otsukimi

    in autumn I mourn
    the slow dimming of the light
    oh moon, take over

             Marilyn Layton

    ripples skitter
    beneath the heron’s wings
    the moon hides her face

             Brooke Leary

    mid-autumn night—
    the moonlight
    flowing through my fingers

             Ying Lou

    SJG - 9/13/19 - Moon viewing - otsukimi. Boat launching: boats made by our Gardeners and Jessa

    why does the moon hide
    behind the clouds
    maybe because it’s shy

             Lucy Pierson (age 7)

    even the heron
    the moon

             Joan Stamm

    tea bento and boats
    watching the lonely moon sigh
    making new friends

             Aiswarya Vegaraju

    spider eggs—
    like tiny moons
    clustered on the leaves

             Brandon Wagner

    SJG - 9/13/19 - Moon viewing - otsukimi. Participants of the Tea Ceremony launch boats afterwords...

    Friday, August 23, 2019

    Smithsonian Scientists Are Using Ginkgo Leaves to Study Climate Change—They Need Your Help

    SMITHSONIAN.COM | Aug. 6, 2019, 10:38 a.m.

    The next time you venture into the great outdoors, keep an eye out for Ginkgo biloba trees, which can be easily identified by their distinctive fan-shaped leaves. If you find one—and you likely will, as the native Chinese plant is now ubiquitious in the United States—take a moment to pluck a few leaves, snap some photographs of the scene, and record your observations via the iNaturalist mobile app. Then, package your sample in an envelope, drop it into the mailbox, and give yourself a pat on the back. Congratulations: You’ve just become a citizen scientist, helping researchers at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History use ginkgo leaves to study the past, present and future of climate change.

    Read more:

    SJG late fall 2016 - yellow gingko trees rflected in the pond

    Wednesday, July 31, 2019

    A private perspective about a potential future of the Seattle Japanese Garden

    By Koichi Kobayashi

    The following is a private perspective about a potential future of Japanese Garden, master designed by Juki Iida at the UW Arboretum in the Washington Park, Seattle.

    Many Japanese Gardens abroad have been going through considerable change through renovation, expansion and new construction lately. A large number of them have been designed to accommodate ever expansion of art, cultural and other activities mainly associated with gardens.

    My proposal as exhibited here for our garden is based on the following assumptions:

    1. There is a continuing wish to complete the original master plan with  siting a new  lake view pavilion on the north shoreline.

    2. Floor space to accommodate further activities is needed. New set of buildings comparable to expanded section of Portland Japanese Garden could be sited on the east side of the existing parking area with modification.

    3. Additional garden with a different style(s) is needed to accommodate expanding visitors. Area east of the cherry orchard could be developed for this.

    The following sets of drawing address these assumptions and are exhibiting as my perspective and proposal. [Some of the drawings are included in this post; for the complete set of 27 drawings click here]

    This presentation had been discussed with a number of members of Arboretum Foundation, Park Department, Seattle Japanese Garden Society over the last number of years as my and Tom Brooke's private proposal.

    Nothing has come out of this and no official approval, just a private proposal.

     Koichi Kobayashi   
    小林 竑一 

    Honorary Professor
    Eimei University, San Mateo, California
    Adjunct Professor
    Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan

    Principal of Kobayashi Design
    Landscape Architecture, Urban and Garden Design
    Seattle, WA. USA

    Thursday, July 25, 2019

    BUTOH: Wandering & Wondering: Kubota Garden July 28th, Seattle Japanese Garden August 1st

    free site-specific performances & photo exhibitions
    encounter performers dispersed in surprising locations
    as they engage in a minute-by-minute response to all the
    scents, sounds, sights and sensations of the gardens

    directed by Joan Laage (Kogut Butoh) 
    with music by Gyre

    July 28     12-3 pm
    Kubota Garden
    9817 55th Avenue South Seattle,WA 98118

    August 1  3:30-6:30 pm
    Seattle Japanese Garden
    1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112
    • • • • • 
    Photo Exhibitions:
    July 1 – August 31
    Fresh Flours
    6015 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98103
    Opening: July 5  4-5 pm 
    August 1 – September 30
    Seattle Japanese Garden
    1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112
    Opening: August 1  3:30-6:30 pm