The Autumnal Equinox has arrived; the day that summer officially ends and autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere. With the equinox comes a familiar chill in the air, shorter days, and the first hint of color changes in the foliage. In Japan, Autumnal Equinox Day (Shūbun no Hi; 秋分の日) is a public holiday celebrated annually.
The arrival of the fall season in Japan is celebrated in many of the same ways that it is in the West, with activities such as autumn festivals (matsuri; 祭), leaf peeping (momijigari; 紅葉狩), and lots of delicious seasonal foods and treats. Japanese Buddhists (Zen Buddhists) acknowledge the equinox by celebrating Higan (彼岸). This Buddhist holiday takes place for the 7 consecutive days surrounding both the vernal and autumnal equinoxes - for 3 days before and 3 days after.
We’ve created 5 unique fall bedding sets inspired by different aspects of autumn in Japan that you can use to furnish your own Japanese Sleep System. Each design pulls from the culture and beauty of Japan to give your traditional Japanese bedding a seasonal yet authentic theme. By incorporating your own existing J-Life bedding, you can customize your favorite look to better suit your own personal style.
Owls are a venerated symbol of wisdom and fortune across Japan, but are especially popular in Ikebukuro (池袋), a district of Tokyo’s Toshima ward (豊島区). A statue of an owl has stood in the bustling Ikebukuro Station since the 1980s, serving as a popular local landmark and meeting point. This iconic statue eventually helped solidify these wise raptors as an unofficial mascot for the area. The name “Ikefukuro“ is a playful term used to describe the region that combines the name of the neighborhood and the Japanese word for owl, “fukurou”.
This Japanese bedding look takes inspiration from these beautiful creatures and the deciduous trees they call home. It combines earthy browns with vibrant burgundy and yellow to replicate the colors of the forest during late fall. At a glance, our Fukurou Natural owl print fabric could be mistaken for gently falling autumn leaves.
In this look:
- Kanji Red Buckwheat Hull Pillow
- Kakefuton Fukurou Natural Custom Cover
- Shikifuton with Espresso Removable Cover
"Moon Viewing" (お月見)
Cultures around the world have marveled at the beauty of the moon for eons. The Japanese Harvest Moon Festival and practice of moon viewing (otsukimi; お月見) is Japan’s way of appreciating the glory of each autumn’s first full moon: the Harvest Moon.
The simplistic yet dramatic gold, burgundy, and black color palette in this look is inspired by the colors of the shining Harvest Moon, as its backdrop shifts from dusk to darkness over the ancient temples of Japan.
In this look:
- Nami Black Pillowcase
- Kakefuton Burgundy Custom Cover
- Shikifuton with Asa No Ha Gold Removable Cover
"Red Leaf Hunting" (紅葉狩)
When most people hear the words “autumn” or “fall”, brightly colored red, yellow, and orange trees are probably one of the first things that come to mind. Vibrant foliage can be enjoyed all over the world in autumn, and Japan is no exception. Many Japanese citizens and tourists participate in the tradition of leaf peeping (momijigari; 紅葉狩) by visiting rural and mountainous areas, where sprawling vistas of Japan’s fall colors can be seen on full display.
The red, orange, purple, and gold color palette of this Japanese bedding set seeks to replicate the magic of Japanese autumn foliage. This look also features a variety of patterns, such as our popular Usagi (bunny; 兎) fabric in purple and multiple sakura (cherry blossom; 桜) prints - two beloved things found in Japanese culture.
In this look:
- Seikai Ha Orange Buckwheat Hull Pillow
- Sakura Red Pillowcase
- Usagi Purple Custom Kakefuton with Removable Cover
- Shikifuton with Sakura Gold Removable Cover
"Bush Clover" (おはぎ)
Ohagi (おはぎ) are Japanese sweet rice balls eaten during the time of the equinoxes in Japan. These sweet treats are made with sweetened rice and red bean paste. During the spring equinox, these treats go by a different name, botamochi (ぼたもち), but are nearly identical. Their names literally translate to "bush clover" and "peony", flowers that bloom in the autumn and spring respectively. Many Japanese families will leave offerings of ohagi/ botamochi on the graves of loved ones during the time of the equinox.
This combination of Japanese style bedding uses brown, beige, and white tones to symbolize this culturally significant Japanese confection. The color palette can also be seen as a representation of late autumn in Japan, when most of the leaves have fallen or turned brown, and when snow occasionally dots the landscape of the Japanese countryside. The sakura pattern in this bedding look references the floral names of these seasonal treats.
In this look:
- Sakura Brown Throw Pillow
- Jumbo Seikai Ha Matcha Pillowcase
- Shikaku Brown Kakefuton Cover
- Shikifuton with Kanji White Removable Cover