[[quoteright:178:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/moon-wabbit.jpg]]

Observe the full moon sometime and take note of its shadows. If you look at it in a certain way, [[ItKindOfLooksLikeAFace you may notice that its shape resembles that of a rabbit standing over a mortar]].

This is the Moon Rabbit or Jade Rabbit. A myth that came from China, legend has it that the rabbit we see serves under the moon goddess and pounds the elixir of life for the immortals. The idea of a rabbit on the moon resonated so well that it spread to other countries under Chinese cultural influence like Japan, Korea and Vietnam, though in their version, the rabbit isn't pounding the elixir of life but simple rice cakes instead.

While the Asian version of this legend is the most widespread in modern times, they weren't the only ones who saw the rabbit in ancient times. The Aztecs and other Mesoamerican cultures also saw the Rabbit in the moon (minus mortar) and had their own tales on what it is and how it came to be. One of their most famous legends state that the rabbit we see was thrown there as an insult to the arrogant and cowardly Moon God, so that its luster will not be equal to the noble Sun God's.

A famous mythical figure, the Moon Rabbit appears in several popular media, either in the form of the actual creature or as a winking reference to the legend. They're mostly found in Asian media, but there have been sightings in non-Asian countries as well.


For the version more popular in Western culture, see TheManInTheMoon.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/AdventuresOfTheLittleKoala'': The episode "The Moon Goddess" has the eponymous character take the form of a cute rabbit girl.
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' gives a nod to the legend when China first finds Japan. The two characters look to the moon and say that the rabbit is pounding "something," that something being what is most common in the country's respective legend.
* ''Anime/BeastWarsII'' has a robot rabbit, named Moon, living in the moon. Also present is a woman named Artemis, based on the same Chinese legend.
** Possibly referenced in the original ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' as well; at the start of the second season, Waspinator looks at the remaining moon, quirks his head to a particular angle, comments about the markings, then declares that he "knows". Shortly afterwards, it's revealed that this is actually Prehistoric Earth.
** ''Manga/TransformersZone'' has Moonradar and his partner Rabbicrater ([[DontExplainTheJoke rabbit + crater]]).
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' has a more indirect reference. Rukia has a strong moon theme (described by the author in art as the "white moon" to [[MainCharacter Ichigo's]] "black sun"). Her [[EmpathicWeapon zanpakutou]] is a [[ElementalPowers snow/ice-type]] weapon that is also moon-themed (with at least one of its known attack powers being moon-based). She is utterly obsessed with rabbits to the point where she even draws picture boards of other characters as bunnies and the special soul that looks after her false body when she goes off fighting is the bunny-themed "Chappy"-soul.
* The ending song of ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'', "Dango Daikazoku," is about a family of dumplings/rice cakes, and mentions bunnies waving to them from the moon.
* ''Anime/{{Doraemon}}'' had an episode discussing moon rabbits and visit a future amusement park on the Moon to find them.
* In ''Manga/DragonBall'', after defeating the anthropomorphic rabbit Monster Carrot, Goku sends him to the moon where he's forced to pound treats for children. It also became FridgeHorror when Kame Sennin ''blew up'' the moon just a few chapters later. That poor anthropomorphic bunny didn't even know what hit him. Someone eventually thought of that and wrote him into one of the games. He apparently escaped just in time.
* ''Franchise/{{Jewelpet}}'': the Jewelpet of moonstone is a rabbit named Luna.
* In ''VisualNovel/KamigamiNoAsobi'', the moon god Tsukito has a pet rabbit.
* ''Manga/{{Kinnikuman}}'' references this in the final preliminary of the 20th Choujin Olympics; the competitors must fly to the moon and bring back a rabbit as proof. The titular IdiotHero laughs at this until told that the rabbits are not only stuffed toys, but were planted there ahead of time.
* ''Manga/MedakaBox'': The master of ceremonies of the Jet Black Wedding Feast (a battle for the hand of genius Medaka and control of her family's company) is dressed like a BunnyGirl. [[spoiler: The third fight will evidently take place on the moon.]]
* In ''Manhwa/MoonBoy'', the rabbits and foxes lived on the moon before coming to Earth.
* In ''Manga/MutekiKanbanMusume'', ShowWithinAShow ''Starranger'' has Hell's Bunny, a new villain character based on this concept. Megumi is able to play the part of her perfectly.
* Kaguya Otsutsuki of ''Franchise/{{Naruto}}'' was based on this legend. She is a HumanAlien named after the Moon Princess from ''The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter'' Japanese folktale, has horns that resemble rabbit ears, was worshiped as the Rabbit Goddess, [[spoiler:was sealed in the moon, and has a OneWingedAngel form that has a rabbit for a head]].
* In ''Manga/PetShopOfHorrors'' Count D tries to explain to Chris why technology can be a burden by using the Moon Rabbit as an example, saying that humans "killed" the Moon Rabbit, the Moon Princess, and all the other mythological creatures by landing on the moon and showing none of them are real. Chris then cheerily replies "That's not true! They were all hiding!" which is appropriate [[spoiler:considering Count D's shop is full of "mythical" creatures masquerading as pets]]. Seeing Chris' faith helps Count D gain more faith in Humanity in general [[spoiler:which is good as Count D himself is actually monitoring mankind to see if/when they will be ready to join the rest of the animal world in harmony]] and very appropriate considering one version of the Moon Rabbit has the rabbit pounding medicine to heal Humanity's wickedness and "wounds".
* Kurousagi of ''LightNovel/ProblemChildrenAreComingFromAnotherWorldArentThey'' is a moon rabbit, complete with the ability to [[spoiler:teleport a group of people to the moon]].
* The main character of ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' is an obvious nod to this legend. Her real name, Tsukino Usagi, means "Rabbit of the Moon" if split into words ("''tsuki no usagi''"). Her hair, as well as Chibiusa's, is intended to look like a rabbit's ears, and Chibiusa is even referred to as "Rabbit" at various points in the series.
* Amae Koromo of ''Manga/{{Saki}}'' was designed to resemble a rabbit (blame the bunny ears headband). Her powers are at its strongest when the moon is full and her FinishingMove is the "Haitei Raoyue", which means "To pull out the moon from the seabed".
** Incidentally, "Haitei Raoyue" is what it's called when the last tile on the wall is the winning tile. It's used colloquially to mean pulling off the impossible.
* The opening for ''Anime/TsukuyomiMoonPhase'' has Hazuki playfully dodging a pair of rabbits with mortars. Good luck understanding the rest of the opening.
* ''Manga/{{Yaiba}}'' has Kaguya, one of the antagonists of the series. She's the bunny-eared Empress of the Moon who wears a PlayboyBunny outfit and has an army of anthropomorphic rabbits as her subjects.
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[[folder:Card Games]]
* The [[http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/arcana/665 Soratami]] from the ''MagicTheGathering'' ''Kamigawa'' block; they aren't as obviously rabbitish as some of the examples, but you can definitely see it in the ears. Plus, they were directly inspired by the Japanese rabbit/moon legend.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' Lovers and Madmen comic, when the Joker first emerges from the chemical vat that warps his mind and appearance (not that he wasn't a sociopathic criminal already in this continuity) the first thing he sees is "a bunny in the moon...that's crazy!" Then he bursts out his first real bout of maniacal laughter.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* TheGrimReaper/God of the Underworld in ''Literature/WatershipDown'' is called the Black Rabbit of Inle, and Inle is the rabbits' word for moon. It is unsure if he actually ''lives'' there, as opposed to just being associated with it.
** Likely the latter as rabbits in ''Watership Down'' believe the sun to be God and the giver of all life, and in one folktale, El-ahrairah visits the Black Rabbit and doesn't go to the moon to find his home.
* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' books, ''Luna'' Lovegood's Patronus spell takes the form of a hare.
* In Frank Herbert's ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'', the second moon of Arrakis has a kangaroo mouse-shaped pattern on it.
* A children's book titled ''The Rice-Cake Rabbit'' by Betty Jean Lifton is based upon a Japanese folk tale.
* This idea appears in Kit William's puzzle-book ''[[Literature/KitWilliamsMasquerade Masquerade]]''.
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[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The {{kaiju}} Lunatyx from ''Series/UltramanAce'' (and other appearances since) is based on the legend. The twist is that Lunatyx actually destroyed a civilization that once existed on the Moon, reducing the Moon to the rocky waste we know today. However, among the Moon People who fled to Earth, one of their descendants was [[spoiler:Yuko Minami, the female co-host of Ultraman Ace]].
* This is why the moon base in ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'' is named the Rabbit Hutch.
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[[folder:Music]]
* American electric music group, ''RabbitInTheMoon'' got their name from this legend.
* What was the big hit for ''Echo and the Bunnymen'' as featured in ''GrossePointeBlank'' ? "The killing moon" [[EpilepticTrees Coincidence? I think not!]]
* YunaIto's second album, ''WISH,'' includes a track titled ''MoonRabbit'' that (loosely) describes the legend.
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[[folder:Oral Tradition]]
* Records containing references to the moon rabbit dates all the way back in texts found during the Warring States period of Ancient China, which talks of a rabbit in the moon pounding herbs for the immortals. This makes the legend at least OlderThanFeudalism.
* As mentioned in the main text, another version of the Moon Rabbit could be found in the creation story in Myth/AztecMythology. There are two versions of how the rabbit came to be. In one version, the god Tecciztecatl sacrificed himself as a rabbit when he became the new moon, and the rabbit we see is the god himself. In another version of the myth, the beautiful and wealthy god Tecciztecatl volunteered to be the light of our current world but feared the sacrificial fire when the time came for the ritual to turn him into the sun. In his place, the sickly and blistered Nanahuatzin stepped forward and bravely stepped into the flames to become the new sun, and now shamed, Tecciztecatl followed her. Angered at his cowardice, the gods believed that Tecciztecatl shouldn't glow brighter than Nanahuatzin and threw a rabbit at his face to dim his luster.
* Buddhist folklore gives a different explanation for the rabbit. Once upon a time, several animals resolved to practice charity, believing that great virtue will lead to great reward. When an old man came, the other animals offered it food that they had gathered. However, since the rabbit was only capable of gathering grass, it sacrificed itself for the old man by jumping into the fire the old man built. But the rabbit wasn't burned, and the old man revealed himself to be the deity Sakra, who was so touched by the rabbit's virtue that it drew its likeness on the moon for all to see.
* A similar tale could be found in Mexican folklore. According to Aztec legend, the god Quetzalcoatl lived in Earth as a man and while he was on a journey, he found himself hungry and tired with no food around. Just when he thought he was going to die, a nearby rabbit came to him and offered himself as food. Moved by the rabbit's gesture, Quetzacoatl placed its likeness on the moon, telling him "You may be just a rabbit, but everyone will remember you; there is your image in light, for all men and for all times."
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' depicts moon rabbits as a LittleBitBeastly race of servitors to the {{Lunarian|s}} people. Most of them are slackers with no love for any Lunarian but [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang%27e Chang'e,]] and their [[TelepathicSpacemen minor telepathic abilities]] make them notorious for GossipEvolution (they not only believe that Earthlings are aware of the [[FantasticNatureReserve Lunar Capital]]'s existence, but that hundreds of rabbits have died fighting off Earth invaders). The most prominent moon rabbit in the series is Reisen Udongein Inaba, a runaway from the Lunar Defense Corps who has since [[GoingNative tried to integrate herself into]] Earth's {{youkai}} rabbit population. ''Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom'' introduces another moon rabbits named Seiran and Ringo respectively, both of them whom are former colleagues of Reisen in the same corps.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'', the Rabbit spirit of the EasternZodiac gives Amaterasu powers over the moon, and is first seen pounding rice cakes, with Ammy kneading the pounded rice between thumps.
** As well, Kaguya, who is originally from the moon, has green rabbit ears -- or at least they look an awful lot like rabbit ears.
** ''VideoGame/{{Okamiden}}'' has a ''HumongousMecha'' in the shape of a rabbit, built by, you guessed it, the [[HumanAliens Moon Tribe]].
* TheUntwist in ''VideoGame/DarkCloud'' is that those hooded little guys with the big long ears who are from the moon are rabbits.
* The [[NoExportForYou Japan-only]] Game Boy Advance installment of ''VideoGame/RhythmHeaven'' features a minigame, "Bunny Hop", involving a rabbit hopping on sea animals so it can jump to the moon. At the end of the minigame, it successfully makes it to the moon, which shows a picture of a rabbit with a mortar and pestle when it makes contact. This later appeared in ''Rhythm Heaven Megamix'' for the 3DS.
* ''VideoGame/GunNac'' has the moon for its first stage. Naturally, the enemies are dominantly rabbits, complete with a giant rabbit mecha stage boss that shoots carrot missiles.
* ''Gokujyou VideoGame/{{Parodius}}'' is another ShootEmUp with a moon bunny level. Complete with dodging mallets and that Asian lady... [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins with a twist]].
* ''Website/GaiaOnline'''s evolving item Hermes' Moon uses this myth as a basis for its various poses.
* ''VideoGame/RabbidsGoHome'' features a group of psychotic bunnies trying to "go home," which they have decided is on the moon. This game, however, is made in France and the developers haven't said whether or not the legends inspired them, so this may or may not have been an accidental reference.
* This is the reason why you get to chase Space Bunnies around on planetoids in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy''.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' has the moon pearl, which prevents Link from being turned into a bunny in the Dark World.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', a colony of Hummingway, small rabbit-like creatures that only speak by humming, live on the Moon. One of its residents, Namingway, came to live on the Blue Planet.
* In ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarZero'', NPC Newman costumes and nearly every possible PC Newman costume have a distinct "bunny" motif, with long ear-like projections on the headgear or similar. Just '''guess''' where they've been hiding out since TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'', one of the members of Organization XIII, Saïx, whose attribute is moon, has a [[JokeItem Joke Weapon]] based off of the myth: a claymore with a rocket-ship and moon design that "expands" into a blade shaped like a rabbit head when he [[TheBerserker gets angry]].
* Lunamon, introduced in ''[[VideoGame/DigimonWorldDawnDusk Digimon World: Dusk]]'', is a rabbit-like Digimon with moon designs on her body and powers related to darkness and the moon. Her final form is Dianamon, named for the Roman goddess of the moon (a.k.a. Artemis to the Greeks).
* Referenced in ''[[VideoGame/MrDriller Mr Driller Drill Spirits]]'', the last character, Usagi, is unlocked on the moon stage. He's a rabbit.
** Usagi is actually unlockable in all ''Mr. Driller'' games. Appropriately, he's a rabbit alien from the moon.
* The ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' Umbreon is based upon the legends of the moon rabbit. Its evolutionary relative, Sylveon, also has rabbit-like features and learns moon based moves.
* A bizarre variation in the already insane shooter ''Videogame/DeaeTonosamaAppareIchiban'': alien moon rabbits... on Mars.
* Being a Korean {{MMORPG}}, ''VideoGame/MapleStory'' has the bunny-pounding-rice-cake variant. Except that the bunnies are not always on the moon.
* One of the villagers in ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'' is a rabbit named Ruby - or Luna in the original Japanese version. With her house being moon/space-themed and containing a mochi pestle, she seems to reference this.
* While the [[VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry Chiesters]] are modeled after [[PlayboyBunny Playboy Bunnies]] rather than this trope, their {{Leitmotif}} is called "Dance of the Moon Rabbit".
* In ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'', the AI called Zero III which addresses the characters during the game takes the form of a rabbit and [[spoiler:the Nonary Game takes place on the moon. Zero III's original name, Lagomorph is a direct reference to hares/rabbits]].
* Used in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} [[UpdatedReRelease Golden]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/Persona4Arena Persona 4 Arena Ultimax]]'', in which Kaguya Hime[[note]]the ultimate persona of the Aeon Arcana in the former and Marie's persona in the latter[[/note]] curiously has rabbit ears. This is a reference to a famous Japanese folk story, ''The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter'', in which Kaguya Hime is the main character who later is revealed to belong to a group of celestial beings that live on the moon.
* Also, when you Ace [[Anime/TurnAGundam Loran Cehack]] in ''Third VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ: Tengoku-hen'', [[Characters/SuperRobotWarsZ AG]] gives him a bunny girl costume, saying that it's perfect attire for a member of the [[Anime/TurnAGundam Moonrace]], referencing the moon rabbit folklore. Loran insists that he's a bloke but AG goes "oh yeah? but I heard about the [[WholesomeCrossdresser Laura]] [[NeverLiveItDown thing]]"
* One of the bosses in ''VideoGame/MegamanZero 3'' is Childre Inhareita, a rabbit like Reploid based of the idea of the Moon Rabbit.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'', [[MeaningfulName Luna]] Platz's MegaTwintails are supposed to resemble bunny ears, in a nod to the legend. The third game further references this by giving her a Wizard that looks like a [[PullARabbitOutOfMyHat rabbit in a hat]].
* ''Jerry Boy'' takes the player to the moon for Stage 4, and the first enemies encountered there are rabbits.
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[[folder: Web Comics]]
* As ''ComicStrip/ThePerryBibleFellowship'' [[http://pbfcomics.com/?cid=PBF120-Moon_Bunny.jpg notes,]] that would have to be [[EldritchAbomination a very large rabbit]].
* In a ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' chapter dealing with short stories from supporting characters, Chang'E visits the court with her rabbit to discuss the [[DefaceOfTheMoon mysterious fingerprint shape]] that [[ContinuityNod appeared on the moon in a prior chapter]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* {{Parodied}} in the [[FanFic/AngryMarinesRubyQuest Angry Marine's retelling]] of ''Roleplay/RubyQuest'' and double-parodied in Creator/TheWeaver's ''Déjà Vu Ruby'' special.
* The ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'' has [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1284 SCP-1284]] and [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1282 SCP-1282,]] both played for horror.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Another possibly accidental reference: in the ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode "Out to Launch," Dr. Doofenshmirtz's evil scheme is to make shadow puppets on the moon. The only one he is shown making is a rabbit.
* In the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes short ''Haredevil Hare'' (1948) Bugs Bunny gets sent to the moon on a rocket.
--> '''Bugs Bunny:''' No, no, don't leave. There's a beautiful Earth out tonight.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
* As an aside, during the moon landing, one of the requests to the astronauts was for them to keep an eye out for a beautiful Chinese lady and her giant rabbit, [[http://history.nasa.gov/ap11fj/14day5-landing-prep.htm leading to the following exchange:]]
--> '''Ron Evans:''' Among the large headlines concerning Apollo this morning, is one asking that you watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit. An ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-O has been living there for 4,000 years. It seems she was banished to the Moon because she stole the pill of immortality from her husband. You might also look for her companion, a large Chinese rabbit, who is easy to spot since he is always standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree. The name of the rabbit is not reported. \\
'''Michael Collins:''' [[TheComicallySerious Okay. We'll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl.]]
* China had launched 2 lunar satelites named Chang'e by 2014 and the second one landed a rover, Jade Rabbit 1.
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