Essay
いも On Car
Amy May Stuart

The following documents are a transcribed oral account of Tsukimi — the Japanese harvest moon festival celebration — the circumstances surrounding my birth, and two accompanying images.

Voicemail

2:34pm,
16th March, 2019

Hi Amyちゃん, this is Mum. Um, hmm, I wanted to talk about that the my お祖母さん when she talked with - 月読 - eh, so, when it’s the convenient time, I can leave that the, as a message, here, um.


Okay! Then I will just quickly talk. When I was around twenty, I was uni student and came back around, came back home, around Thanksgiving time, so it was harvest time in Northern Hemisphere, it was October.


So, 10th of October was splendour, splendid moon goddess festival — but it’s not a big festival it’s just a day — 10th of October is beautiful moon day. So what’s happen was, as historical custom, in village, farmer’s wife makes steamed sweet potato cut in a cylindrical shape like tree stump. It’s flat but not too flat, it’s sort of, some thickness there, and when that, that the they cooked the sweet potato, piece of sweet potato cooked they built the pyramid shape, top is, top is just one, and the bottom is, and, so, flat pyramid shape, and, ah sort of, ah, triangle shape. And お祖母さん placed that um, sweet, uh, cooked sweet potato, steamed sweet potato on top, and she is talking with 月読 up up in sky, どうも有難う thank you for very good this year’s crops, and so on. Important thing is, お祖母さん wanted sweet potato to become close to the moon, so she placed on top of car’s roof. So she is standing in front of car talking to 月読 up in sky.


Voicemail

3:02pm,
16th March, 2019**

Okay! Amyちゃん. Quickly another things. Southern Hemisphere’s harvest time, day of beautiful moon, um, when I’m pregnant with you it’s ah, becoming close to harvest moon time, 13th September. ばあちゃん is still in Japan, she is nervous because first granddaughter — you — ah, she said it will be good if Amyちゃん comes 13th September!


So, I will send you this photographs ばあちゃん sent to me, she said, um, Michiko don’t check picture just check the numbers, ignore picture because it’s not real picture. And guess what, it’s became true! Then you came out, morning recess time, 月読 day.

Annotated photograph sent to Michiko Stuart. September, 1990.
Annotated photograph sent to Michiko Stuart. September, 1990.