Kayo Yokoyama – Usagi

Kayo Yokoyama – Usagi

There is a famous Japanese folktale (Tsuki no Usagi) that explains why markings on the moon resemble a rabbit. It goes like this.

Many years ago, the Old Man of the Moon decided to visit the Earth. He disguised himself as a beggar and asked Fox (Kitsune), Monkey (Saru), and Rabbit (Usagi) for some food.

Monkey climbed a tree and brought him some fruit. Fox went to a stream, caught a fish, and brought it back to him. But Rabbit had nothing to offer him but some grass. So he asked the beggar to build a fire. After the beggar started the fire, Rabbit jumped into it and offered himself as a meal for the beggar to eat.

Quickly the beggar changed back into the Old Man of the Moon and pulled Rabbit from the fire. He said “You are most kind, Rabbit, but don’t do anything to harm yourself. Since you were the kindest of all to me, I’ll take you back to the moon to live with me.”

The Old Man carried Rabbit in his arms back to the moon and he is still there to this very day exactly where the Old Man left him. Just look at the moon in the night sky and the rabbit is there!

Growing up in Japan, the rabbit (Usagi) is a symbol of kindness, what we can offer to others. I hope this collection of new work can provide a moment to pause and reflect; to enjoy the vivid colour of short-lived little flowers. Our natural world is a beautiful place.

Kayo Yokoyama
December 2020


Photo: Helen Flint, courtesy MTNS MADE