The Jade Rabbit
The jade rabbit (or moon rabbit) motif is commonly seen in Chinese mythology. But why a jade rabbit? The jade rabbit is seen from earth as a rabbit pounding a mortar. Where as in the West, people talk about the man on the Moon. In Asia we see a rabbit.
The rabbit is associated with immortality and comes from Chinese mythology, though the tradition also spread to Korea and Japan. The jade rabbit, by pounding the mortar, is producing the elixir of immortality. The motif of the Jade Rabbit is seen more during the Mid-Autumn Festival (dates vary each year, but usually in September), when the there is a full moon. The jade rabbit is also known as the companion to Chang'e, the Moon Goddess, who lives and is the guardian of the moon.
So what has the jade rabbit got to do with Tai Chi? Well, it is part of Chinese mythology, which is usually Daoist in nature. We have a neigong* exercise called Jade Rabbit. Myths can be fun and makes learning art or another culture more interesting. The jade rabbit means different thing in different cultures.
In Korea and Japan, the jade rabbit is pounding rice cakes.
This is not that unusual,
since rice cakes are commonly eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival and to celebrate a good harvest.
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*Neigong is a type in internal exercise that is similar to qigong, but you cultivate different qualities.
Originally published on 15th December 2019