This is one of the few times in this year's project when many of the collectors will open the package, see the print, and say "Oh, I've seen this image before!" In my own little collection this same picture appears three times, twice in postcard format, and once in a larger size. It seems that there is 'something' about this particular design that really catches the eye of those who like Japanese prints ... or at least of those who publish them! It is usually attributed to Hiroshige, and indeed certainly does seem to fit his style perfectly.
Although the timing of this print certainly needs no explanation for the Japanese collectors, I have to remember that a great many of the people collecting the Treasure Chest this year live overseas, and they may not be familiar with some of the details of the traditional calendar here. But almost everybody with any knowedge of this country at all has heard of the custom of moon viewing; any number of the books I read about Japan before coming here talked about o-tsukimi, usually describing scenes of kimono-clad people on a veranda overlooking a Japanese garden, perhaps with a large pond below, in which the freshly-risen moon was reflected. Members of the party would take turns creating their poems to the beauty of the moon ...
Well, that was then, and this is now. Although I suppose that there are some people here who do indeed take part in such events, I suspect they are rather few and far between. For the most part these days, most of us are no longer even aware what phase the moon is in at any moment.
Unless ... we happen to catch sight of the full moon accidentally, as happened to me just a month ago. I was making an evening errand on my bicycle out to the local shops, and turning a corner suddenly came face to face with the largest, most golden full moon I had ever seen, directly framed in the distance at the end of a long straight stretch of road.
It was bigger than I would have ever thought possible, and as I stood there and watched it climb higher, I realized what a wonderful sight the sky must have been before the days of tall buildings and electric lights ...