October 28, 2022

The interior of Gepparo teahouse: Katsura-rikyu (Kyoto)

The interior of Gepparo teahouse: Katsura-rikyu (Kyoto)

As having been expressed in the old oriental legends related to the mystic power of the moon, such as the mythological stories of "Chang'e Hongetsu" (Chang'e on the moon) in China and "Taketori Monogatari" (the tale of the princess from the moon) which is the oldest story in Japan, it has been believed in Asia that the moon brings spiritual power to lure people into the celestial world and to give them the elixir of eternal life. 

When people looked up at the moon shining in the darkness of night, they probably imagined that the bright moonlight was coming from the immortal realm which was located far away beyond the dark night sky. The moon's dazzling radiance might have been thought to be the path of light between this mortal life and the eternal life after death, through which the mortals would reach the distant paradise of eternal youth and immortality. 

This elegant teahouse for autumn named "Geppa-ro" was specially prepared for viewing the harvest moon reflected on the rippling surface of the pond. 

The name "Geppa-ro" means the lookout for moonlight waves and is quoted from the passage of a classic Chinese poem by Bai Letian which denotes "the moon is reflected like a single pearl in the center of ripples on water."

The Chinese characters "kagetsu" on the wooden plaque means "composing a poem about the moon." 

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