Saturday, 14 January 2012

October: Month of the Gods

In this month, all of the 8 million Shinto gods leave their provincial shrines to congregate at the Great Shrine in Izumo (Izumo Taisha) (the centre of Shinto religion). Izumo is about 60 miles north of Hiroshima. Like the month of June (‘Mizunazuki’), ‘Kaminazuki’ (October) can be interpreted two ways. It can be read as the ‘month of Gods’ or ‘month without Gods’.  In this case, both readings can be correct whether you are in Izumo or not.

October is represented by the changing autumnal colours of the ‘Momiji’ (Maple) leaves. Although, not technically a flower, the brilliant autumn red leaves of the Maple tree are as colourful as any flower. Like many people around the world Japanese enjoy seeking out groves of maple trees turning hillsides brilliant hues of red and yellow. ‘Momijigari’ is the word for maple leaf viewing.

The stag on the Tane card represents gentleness. Together with the red Maple, they are a symbol of longevity.

1 comment:

  1. Design notes: Due to excel's graphic limitations I decided to use stars instead of leaves, which is something I have seen in other decks of hanafuda. The earthy colours of course represent Autumn and again because of graphical limitations I decided just to show the Deers head.