Once upon a time people were afraid of autumn leaves?

The long summer season is finally end and beautiful fall season is right there in Kyoto.
The viewing of autumn leaves is popular activity in fall in Japan today,
but we actually started enjoying to see them from Muromachi Era (1336 AD – 1573 AD).
It was not the common activity in Heian Era (794 AD – 1185 AD).

It has been considered as negative thing that cold winter comes soon.
Also, there were no trees to see autumn foliage in residence, we had to climb up the mountain to see them.
That is also one of the reasons why people could not enjoy it easily.

One of the color of autumn leaves, Red used to means loneliness, it let people be anxious.
It depends on era how people think about it.

Today, I searched something I have been curious about.
Why people use the word of “view” for Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) and Tsukimi (moon viewing)
But “Hunt” for Momiji-Gari ( It means viewing autumn foliage, but literally means “Hunt autumn foliage”)
There are some reasons came up on Internet, and I found interesting story of it.
There is a Kabuki program called “Momiji-gari”
minamiza01【Kyotosijo minamiza】

It is about two men go to see autumn foliage in the mountain.
When they arrive, there was already another person there so they were about to go back to home.
But the person who has stayed there when they arrive asked them to drink together.
Fortunately, the person was a very pretty woman.
Of course, there was no reason to say no, so they drink and dance together a lot… as they passed out.

When they wake up, it was already night.
But the pretty woman was disappeared… they look for her in the mountain.
They finally found her, but she was the very terrifying man-eater evil.

The story tell us three lessons.
1, Be careful with sweet pretty woman.
2, Do not drink too much
3, Even you hunt autumn leaves(=viewing autumn leaves), Not be hunted our life.

It is also romantic story, isn’t it? haha



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