The Hare "Usagi" as a motif in Japanese art

There is an old Chinese/Taoist tale of a hare that resides in the moon and pounds the magic herbs to make the elixir of eternal life. The hare was considered sacred and was believed to live a thousand years–becoming white only when it had reached the end of the first five hundred years. This belief was assimilated by the Japanese who see the hare in the moon pounding mochi or rice cakes instead of magic herbs.

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