My interest in Asian folklore is relatively new and, as such limited, but I understand that these little fellows are moon rabbits, popular in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other folklore.
The oblong dish to the left is made in Japan and depicts moon rabbits with the full moon above them in the dark blue night sky. They are surrounded by eggs. I had forgotten the imagery on it when I stumbled across the little pastel-coloured dish to the right. It mystified me a bit at first, because it is egg-shaped and the bunnies are busily cavorting among pretty pink eggs and a flower. This led me at first to think it was an Easter dish - until I flipped it over and saw an Asian back stamp! But of course, when you compare the two, there is simply no mistake - I believe the pink flower in this case serves as a pretty substitute for the moon.
The white moon rabbit lives on the moon and stirs an elixir of immortality. Sometimes, when you look at the full moon, you can see his image. I'm not sure if the chocolate eggs I intend to place in these dishes will help in the quest for immortality ... but they certainly will satisfy the evening sweet tooth!
Bibliography: Wikipedia, Moon Rabbit, 2019
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2019
How appropriate then that bunnies are often shown as the companion of a young girl in modern art depictions or figurines. Or maybe, in older times, the Spring Maiden, or Ostara, was accompanied by an Oster Hare, as he is called in Germany. There is some contention on this matter as to whether or not the Spring Goddesses of older days were connected with hares, eggs and other symbols of Spring at all ... or if that is a more modern connection recorded around about the time of the Grimm Brothers. It matters little. In the minds of the eternal, the connection was made because it is the correct one. They both represent youth, hope and beginnings ... in every way the very essence of Spring!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2017 / edited 2019