Last week, September 21 was the mid-autumn full moon. Have you enjoyed moon-viewing? Our son made a handcraft based on the motif of Moon Rabbit.
The image of this Moon Rabbit originates from the Buddhist story [Jataka Myth], and derives from anecdote of [Konjaku Monogatarishu (The Tales of Times Now Past)]. Summary of the story is like such. When three animals living in the mountain tried to help an old man in hunger, a rabbit lacking a specific ability to provide food to him, jumped into the fire saying “Please eat my body” and burned to death. This old man, in fact was a manifestation of a god and took pity on the rabbit, and reproduced the figure of the rabbit on the moon to convey its spirit of self-sacrifice to the humans.
Although it is a self-sacrifice, it is not merely a pathetic and pitiful story. As this rabbit was practicing asceticism by devoting its own life for others and do good deeds, so it is a story of achieving long-cherished desire by dying. The living-way of attaching value on one’s conviction and aim above one’s life must be joy beyond difficulty to the one. This spirit is akin to Bushido as well.