Rabbit

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Eientei's Earth rabbits, in humanoid and animal forms.
Moon rabbits
Moon rabbit citizens from SSiB chapter 7

In the Touhou Project, Rabbits ( usagi) living in Gensokyo seem to be able to cast attack magic naturally. Also, a rabbit can become a type of youkai after existing for a long period of time, gaining sentience and increased abilities in the process.

There are also Moon Rabbits (玉兎 gyokuto, literally "jade rabbit"), inhabitants of the Moon who seems to be more powerful than normal Rabbits. Moon Rabbits are seen as tools by Lunarians and are used for a large variety of tasks including farming, pounding medicine, cleaning, and as soldiers in the Moon's war effort.[1][2] In the Touhou world, the use of rabbits as part of the Moon's population comes from ancient tales in East Asia, possibly related to the fact that ancient Japanese people saw a rabbit on the moon pounding mochi, as opposed to a smiling face (the "man in the Moon"). Moon rabbits are not considered to be youkai by the moon's inhabitants, and Rei'sen displays no understanding of the term; however, where the moon rabbits came from has not been explained, and as the Lunarians claim to have created youkai in order to regulate the earth, it is possible that the rabbits were created by similar means.

Both earth and moon rabbits have a strong connection to other rabbits of the same type. Earth rabbits can sing and dance in unison. Moon rabbits can communicate telepathically between each other across extremely long distances (like from the Moon to the Earth). [3]

Personality-wise, both moon and earth rabbits tend to be laid back and carefree. They are sociable and love lies, gossip and rumours. [4] Perhaps as can be expected of rabbits, they do not make very good fighters, but can still be trained as such, even if reluctantly. [5] Living in an eternal and unchanging realm also causes moon rabbits to have strange mindsets by Earth standards - in particular, moon rabbits are said to have no real sense of duty or loyalty as humans would understand it, with Reisen Udongein Inaba only developing these traits due to her prolonged exposure to the impurity of Earth.[6][7]

It is customary for earth rabbits and a mandatory duty for some moon rabbits to pound mochi into rice cakes. The earth rabbits of Eientei do this during the Monthly Lunar Festival, thought up by Eirin Yagokoro to help keep the full moon away, on the night of the full moon. [8] They mostly dedicate this labor to Lord Daikoku (and his 180 children), who they villify, Kaguya Houraisan and Eirin Yagokoro, presumably out of respect. [9] Eirin mixes drugs into the dumpling recipe, some of which are formulated to make rabbits more excitable, since she expects the rabbits to secretly eat some themselves and wants them to enjoy the festival (Tewi has noticed this, but not directly complained). [10] Moon rabbits meanwhile must pound mochi to atone for their master Chang'e's sin of drinking the Hourai elixir. [11] Although they are said to pound rice cakes, in reality they are attempting to create the Elixir of Hourai. [12] However, without Kaguya's power, they have yet to succeed. [Ref. Needed]

It is unspecified why or how Chang'e is or was the moon rabbits' master. In the actual legend, Chang'e ordered the moon rabbit to make a new immortality pill for her once she had ascended to the moon from the earth after consumming the original, which she stole from her husband, so that she could return to him. It is implied in the Touhou Project that Chang'e is a native Lunarian, as her true name is not Chang'e, but instead something unpronounceable to beings of the Earth. [13]

Even though they may have a humanoid appearance, you can identify earth and moon rabbits alike by the two elongated ears on the top of their heads. As pictured at right, it is notable that all of the Eientei rabbits seen in Silent Sinner in Blue are humanoid, but the ones in Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth are all in their animal forms (except for the main characters). The rabbits defending Eientei and fought as normal enemies in Imperishable Night are in humanoid form, as well. It is unclear whether moon rabbits can take animal form, as they have never been depicted doing so in canon.

Moon Rabbits, coming from a pure land such as the moon, are supposed to be close to (yet not fully) immortal (as long as they stay away from impure places such as Earth, like Lunarians), but can be killed in battle. It is stated that there are not many soldier rabbits left from the "last war". [14] Whether this war was the Genso-Lunar War one thousand years ago or the Lunar War only a few decades ago was not specified.

Characters under this Bestiary

Books and articles

See Also

References

  1. Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Second Chapter — "Even in the lunar capital the Lunarians saw the rabbits as nothing more than tools, so I suppose it's no surprise."
  2. Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Third Chapter — "The rabbits of the moon are assigned various tasks. Most of them work in agricultural affairs, but many other jobs are left to them as well, such as medicine making, cleaning and the defense of the lunar capital."
  3. Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Second Chapter — "Reisen can communicate with the rabbits on the moon, and Tewi and the others can all dance in perfect rhythm without saying a word.
  4. Cage in Lunatic Runagate: First Chapter — "Rabbits love lies, gossip and rumors, so it's hard to take much stock in what they might say."
  5. Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Last Chapter — "They are in charge of training the moon rabbits who are by nature unsuited to warfare." "They also take rabbits of poor behavior and train them into soldiers. Very few rabbits want to become soldiers, and they see the Watatsuki manor as more of a boot camp."
  6. Scarlet Weather Rhapsody - Reisen Udongein Inaba profile
  7. Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom: Reisen's Scenario — "That aside, you're rather unusual for a rabbit. Actually doing your job properly... Perhaps you've got a sense of duty?" "What I feel from you is... if I had to say, I'd call it earthliness. Like those humans, who manage to come up with their own individuality by embracing the dreams that others prepared for them. In short, you've been tainted. By this impure land. Your impure self will see nothing but lunacy in the Lunar Capital now."
  8. Cage in Lunatic Runagate: First Chapter — "Today is the day of the Monthly Lunar Festival. This festival is held on the night when the Earth and the Moon are closest during the full moon at the time. The festival uses round objects, such as dumplings, as fake full moons in a symbolic attempt to keep the full moon far away. If the moon is far away, then the moon's emissaries will stay away, as well. Of course, I was the one who first thought up this festival."
  9. Silent Sinner in Blue: Chapter 1 — Rabbits sing that their strikes are for Lord Daikoku and his 180 children, but also sing some for Kaguya and Eirin.
  10. Cage in Lunatic Runagate: First Chapter — "Tewi put her hand on the back of her head as she emphasised 'for some reason'. She probably knew about the medicine I put in the dumplings to make the rabbits more excitable."
  11. Silent Sinner in Blue: Chapter 2 — "Incidentally, most of the moon rabbits pound out the elixir to serve out Chang'e's punishment."
  12. Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Sixth Chapter — "Although we call them “rice cakes” what was actually in the mortar was not rice but medicine. We were trying to make a medicine called the “Hourai Elixir” that would provide eternal youth and everlasting life."
  13. Silent Sinner in Blue: Chapter 2 — Chang'e's true name is something only those from the Moon know and can pronounce.
  14. Silent Sinner in Blue: Chapter 8. — "There aren't many rabbits left who took part in the last war."