This is a story that explains why people see a shadow
of a rabbit when they look up at the moon.
The rabbit is pounding on a dough making rice cake.
The original story was written somewhere in the 12th. century, when Buddhism
to spread among the ordinary people.The title of the collection is "Konjaku
it contains more than one thousand short stories that are based on Buddhism
A long time ago in a far distant land there lived a rabbit, a fox
and a monkey
who believed that they had sinned in their former lives, and so were born
They gathered one day, and promised to be good and to love one another
brothers, so that they could recompensate for their sins.
Taishakuten, one of the deities in the land of gods, looked down at those
and thought: "I can't hardly believe them! These days the world is
full of human
beings who kill, rob, and hate one another even though they are brothers
and they don't even realize that what they do is wrong. How could animals
and wanting to pay for their sins? How could they even be aware of it?"
Taishakuten changed himself into a weak old man, and descended to the
the three animals were.
He laid himself down on the road, pretending to be sick, and dying.
Soon the three animals passed by, and the old man said in a frail voice:
please. I'm old and weak, and too exhausted to continue my journey. I don't
anybody to take care of me, and I don't have any food or water left."
The animals were so eager to help the old man, this was their first opportunity
prove their good will!
The monkey ran away to the forest, collected fruits from the trees, picked
variety of vegetables from the fields and carried them to the sick old
The fox went to the graveyard, and took some of the offerings the people
for the dead. He brought back rice cakes, fishes, and drinks.
The rabbit looked for food everywhere, but couldn't find any, and came
nothing to offer. He was so ashamed : "I tried everywhere, but it
was all in vain.
Wherever I went, I had to keep away from the hunters, and the children
me tried to catch and bully me."
He thought for a while, then he came back to where the old man was.
He saw the monkey and the fox sitting proudly before the old man who still
weak and pale.
The rabbit approached them and said :"I'll go away to find some
more food, meanwhile
collect some twigs ,make a fire and wait for me."
The monkey and the fox were angry:"What did you bring to him.......nothing..!
you ask us to make a fire so you can keep yourself warm ! What a shame!"
It was getting dark and chilly.
The monkey and the fox did what they had been told to do.
After a little while, the rabbit came without bringing back anything at
He approached the sick man . He could feel that he was not an ordinary
is something divine in him........"
He bowed, and said: "My Lord, I don't have the capabilities like the
monkey and the
fox do, but I have my small body to offer you to eat"
With those words he leaped into the burning fire........
In that very instant, the old man disappeared and in his place there
stood the deity, Taishakuten.
He sent the rabbit to the moon and put him there forever, so that people
will always remember him whenever they look up at a full moon.