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Japan Marche Staff Blog: T-shirt Zangetsu


T-shirt Zangetsu


Title: What do you see in the moon?

“The hawk in this T-shirt will fly away soon for such daily routine”

First look it reminded me the story of a nightjar, by Kenji Miyazawa “The Nighthawk Star” since hawks do not fly at night, but the kanji suggest it a morning moon. This zan means remain of something, so usually “zan-getsu” in Japanese means a morning moon, which remain in the sky after the sun rises.

The hawk is probably crying for the moon, which still in the sky while the sky is being covered by deep mist. It is an image from the renovation of an old Chinese poem, written in the front. The original one suggests a night moon sinking in the west, dark night comes, and a craw caws. Written by a Cho-kei who traveled around China in 8th century, this poem is famous for expressing the melancholy of a journey.

Looking at the well-drawn hawk, decorated by flowers on its neck and belly, it must be a nice twist. Hawks had often been drawn in Japanese ukiyoe paintings and appeared on kimono clothes. Some old families used the feathers of hawk as their family crest. People may imagine power and authority in hawks, a bird actually the one which hunt down other animals and smaller birds. The hawk in this T-shirt will fly away soon for such daily routine.

The slightly yellow moon accompanied by some clouds will soon leave the sky and sink in the west. The another day just started.


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