Morning star Evening star


Morning star (myoojoo)

***** Location: Japan, worldwide
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Heavens


morning star, myoojoo 明星 みょうじょう
evening star, venus

We also have deities for this star in Japan.

Myooken Bosatsu 妙見菩薩

Star shrines and star cults in Japan
By Gabi Greve


kigo for winter

fuyu no taihaku 冬の太白 Venus in Winter



. . . . . . . . . Evening and Morning Star

The earth is shown at the bottom of the illustration, and for ourpurposes, consider it to be at rest. So let's look at Venus at different places in the orbit. It is orbiting around the sun counterclockwise in this illustration, and the earth is rotating on its axis in that same direction, causing night and day. When Venus is on the left side of the illustration between positions 3 and 5, it appears as an evening star, when it is on the right side between positions 6 and 2, it is a morning star.

In the other positions on the near and far side of the orbits, it is too near the sun to be seen. The periods as evening and morning star each average about 263 days, the disappearance on the near side of the sun is about 8 days, and on the far side is about 50days, for a total of 584 days for the entire cycle.

The Feathered Serpent

Native Americans of Central America had a legend about Venus which is still useful to help remember where Venus is in its orbit. The equated Venus, which they called the Dawn Star, with their god Quetzalcoatl, the "Feathered Serpent." They believe he came to earth and lived as a man and that the evening star represented his life.

Thus, point 3 in the orbit when Venus first rises in the west as an evening star would represent the "birth" of Venus. It is then on the far side of its orbit, and so it is at about its faintest at birth. It then grows a little brighter every day as an evening star in the west, like a child growing up, until it gets to point 4 in the orbit.

That point is called the greatest eastern elongation because it is as far east of the sun as it can get. By this time, Venus is in its "prime" of life, and is very bright. It then continues to get even brighter for about another month until it is so bright it can cast a shadow on a moonless night and is often the cause of flying saucer reports from someone who looked at the sky for the first time. Because it is at this time so near the earth, it seems to plunge surprisingly quickly into the earth and "die" at point 5 in the illustration.

It is about the death of Venus that the Native Americans have best preserved their legends for us. A good reference on this is Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico by Anthony Aveni (Austin, Texas: U.of Texas, 1980). He quotes (p. 187) the legend from the Anales de Quauhtitlán (Seler, 1904, pp.364-365):

"at the time when the planet was visible in the sky (as evening star) Quetzalcoatl died. And when Quetzalcoatl was dead he was not seen for 4 days; they say that he dwelt in the underworld, and for 4 more days he was bone (that is, he was emaciated, he was weak); not until 8 days had passed did the great star appear; that is, as the morning star. They said that then Quetzalcoatl ascended the throne as god"

©1998 by John P. Pratt. All rights Reserved.

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Worldwide use

Things found on the way


明星や 桜定めぬ 山かづら
myoojoo ya sakura sadamenu yamakazura

Kikaku 其角

morning star -
I can barely make out the cherry blossoms
among the morning clouds
(Tr. Gabi Greve)


myôjô ya io no kimon no ume no hana

morning star--
on my hut's unlucky side
plum blossoms

Tr. David Lanoue

The tree is located in the unlucky quarter (the northeast), yet it deigns to bloom. The morning star is the planet Venus.

Sakuo Nakamura sees the morning star as a symbol of "hope for the future." The second phrase of the haiku alludes to the fact that Issa and his family has been unlucky, but the plum blossoms portend "good fortune" to come.


after August sets
out west the evening

When the sun sets on the last day in August, Venus, the Evening Star, will appear above the western horizon.
I was also thinking of autumn sunsets where Venus is visible to the west.

- Shared by Jimmy ThePeach -

morning star --
the murmur of golden leaves
on my doorstep

- Shared by Sandip Sital Chauhan -
Joys of Japan, August 2012

Related words

***** Leonid Meteor Shower ... Geminid Meteor Shower

***** . WKD : Stars in various kigo .

. Astronomical Saijiki .




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