Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for the Jade Rabbit on the Moon

J was for Jasmine last year, and even though Jasmine is also one of the few color shades that start with a J, I'm not going to repeat myself. You can read about the Jasmine Princess here.
The second runner-up was Jazzberry Jam, but sadly that search did not produce any folktales. Go figure.
So that leaves us with Jade.

Jade is a pale green gemstone especially popular in Chinese and Japanese culture and mythology. The Jade Rabbit is a mythical creature that lives on the moon; the markings on the full moon's surface reminded the Chinese of a rabbit with a mortar and a pestle, and this is the story that came out of it.
The Jade Rabbit is the companion of Chang'e, the moon goddess. He is making the elixir of life in his mortar. The story doesn't exactly tell us how he got there; but we do learn about Chang'e.
Chang'e and her husband Houyi the Archer were immortals. But one day ten sons of the Jade Emperor turned into ten suns (get the pun there?) and threatened to scorch the earth. Houyi shot nine of them, which saved the earth, but ticked off the Jade Emperor, who banished the couple to live as mortals. In order to regain their immortality, Houyi went on a quest and acquired a pill of immortality from the Queen Mother of the West. While he was not home, however, Chang'e accidentally took the entire pill. You know what happens if you overdose on immortality? You become light and fly up to the sky, apparently. That's what happened to Chang'e and she has been living there ever since, with the Jade Rabbit to keep her company.

Fun fact: The Chinese moon rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) landed on the Moon last year. The mission was aptly named Chang'e. Love it when old stories and new discoveries align.

13 comments:

  1. What a fun side-effect of overdose of immortality? :) And that's a great little fact about the name of Chinese moon mission. Perfect really.

    Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

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  3. I love jade, it's a very restful stone.

    Why do so many myths and legends have these huge tragic elements? At least she has the rabbit for company I suppose.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

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  4. Mexico also has a folktale of a rabbit in the moon. I'm not sure how it goes though and there is no jade, color or otherwise.

    LittleCely from LittleCely's Blog

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  5. Poor Chang'e and her husband, what happened to him - I suppose he died with no pill of immortality. I didn't know that about the name of the Chinese moon mission, how very apt :)
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

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  6. A wonderful story. I did not know that when you took too much of an immortality pill, you floated up. The story gives a wonderful heads up. I love the light green color of Jade.
    Nana Prah

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  7. This was a wonderful story! Jade is my fav colour. And guess what I did Jade and Ivory too! :)

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  8. Lovely blog! Sharing the A to Z love <3

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  9. Jade is a beautiful color. And I love the story of Tsuki no Usagi (though that is slightly different I think).

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  10. Jade is a lovely stone, and this myth is just as entrancing, Csenge!

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  11. What a wonderful story. I will now always think of it when I look at the moon. :)

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  12. Jade is a lovely colour. It's also become a popular girl's name...short and cute!

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