understanding complex and beautiful animals
My logo is called Bunnyfish, because in Chinese horoscope I was born in Rabbit year, and I am water sign.
Familiar animals that freely run back and forward between villages (human habitat) and mountains (god habitat), they are believed to be god’s messenger.
In Japan white animals are worshiped as symbols of cleanliness and purity. Rabbits that live in north of Japan become white in winter.
Long time ago people believed that rabbits lived in the moon and made medicine for eternal life. We can still see rabbit shape when we look at the full moon.
These beliefs may have been influenced by following stories (abbreviated), vice versa.
When god from the moon came down to earth and turned himself into a dying old man, a fox, a monkey and a rabbit that were training to be Buddhist monks tried to help. The fox caught fish from the river and stole rice from cemetery, the monkey collected fruit and vegetables. The monkey collected branches and the fox made fire. The rabbit however couldn’t find anything to offer.
The old man, the fox and the monkey sneered at it. So the rabbit said ‘I wasn’t good enough to collect any food, please eat me’ and jumped into the fire. The old man immediately turned himself back to god and took the rabbit back to the moon. (Reference: Konjakumonogatarishu ‘collection of contemporary and old stories’ 12th century Japan)
One of the gods saw a crying rabbit without any fur. He asked what happened. The rabbit said, ‘I am from an island and wanted to come to mainland. So I asked a shark, ‘If you ask all your family to line up between this island and mainland, I can count you as I jump from here to there. So we can compare which of our families have more members.’ They did what I asked, and when I nearly stepped onto the land, I told them I cheated them. The last shark got very angry and grabbed my fur. ‘ The god told the rabbit what to do to heal the wound. The rabbit did what was told, was healed and in return, prophesied that he would marry a goddess. So this rabbit became rabbitgod. (reference: Kojiki ‘Record of old events’ 8th century Japan)
January 2012, London