Thursday, September 29, 2005

La Nuque à la Lune I

Last week at the Korean market in Union, I bought myself a new teacup. Originally wanted the set of sumo wrestler teacups, but decided on a blue porcelain one with a little bunny leaping into the moon instead.

Ordinarily I don't go for cute, but there was something so enigmatic about the sleek little rabbit springing forward while looking back as if being pursued. Adding to the mystery was the new noren curtain up at the local sushi place. Instead of the usual samurai or Mount Fuji scene, my new little friend (familiar?) depicted leaping up to the moon.

"...The Japanese make out the shape of a rabbit in the moon's dark markings. Known as the Jade Rabbit, the Rabbit in the Moon appears as Monkey's companion here. A white rabbit was associated with the moon very early in Japanese folklore. Tales of the white rabbit who loses and regains his skin...relate to the waning and waxing of the moon, itself an analogy for death and rebirth..."

(Interesting about the rabbit being tied in with the cycle of death and rebirth.)

Found this charming print, which is part of Yoshitoshi's 100 Aspects of the Moon, on a really very neat site devoted to reproductions of Japanese woodcuts. (Oh, for a bit more pocket money.)

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