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Japan Marche Staff Blog : Kutani Porcelain “Usagi”


Kutani Porcelain “Usagi”


Title: Fluffy animal, with long ears and strong kick

“rabbit has been familiar animal for Japanese people”

Although it may be different from your country’s saying, it is rabbit we see in the moon in Japan. Moreover, that rabbit (actually there are a few, thought to be) are pounding mochi (Japanese chewy rice cake). Watching this red-based small plate, two rabbits are watching the moon from the sea; one is full moon, another is crescent, as if they are recalling their old friends in the moon.

Also seen in other folk tales, rabbit has been familiar animal for Japanese people. Another famous legend related to rabbit is a white rabbit in Inaba, which was very clever enough to cheat sharks but said too many and revealed the lie by himself, leading to be revenged. The rabbits on the sea may refer to this one, since it is treated as a rabbit god. This clever but talkative rabbit later gave advice to a God about love and was healed in return.

In the Japanese craft arts, rabbit has been treated as an animal which bring good lucks due to its attributes; long ears and jumping ability. In addition to them, it is said that rabbit calls “tsuki” (in Japanese, this sound has some meanings including the moon and a good luck) regarding the myth about the moon.

The surrounding red marks are all Japanese traditional patterns. The big red circle may refer to the sun, and weaving lines connect each rabbit. Recalling the philosophy of nature, “all the single matters are connected each other”, but still, this tiny rabbit make me think it can jump away somewhere, freely.

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