Rice-Pounding Rabbit

A work made of color woodblock print; surimono.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of color woodblock print; surimono.

Date:

1855

Artist:

Tanaka Shutei
Japanese, 1810-1858

About this artwork

This humorous scene of a rabbit pounding a mochi rice cake in a Chinese-style urn represents a sophisticated layering of narrative and pictorial traditions. In East Asian lore, rice cake–pounding rabbits are said to live on the surface of the moon. The artist Tanaka Shutei, an active printer and print designer in Osaka, also referenced a scene from the popular story of Kaguya Hime. He depicted Kaguya, a princess from the moon, in her lunar palace, peeking at the work of the rabbit. The rabbit heralded the arrival of both the year of the rabbit and the New Year in general, as rice cake pounding is an important activity at that time of year.

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Asian Art

Artist

Tanaka Shutei

Title

Rice-Pounding Rabbit

Origin

Japan

Date

1855

Medium

Color woodblock print; surimono

Dimensions

23.4 x 17.6 cm

Credit Line

Charles H. Mitchell Collection unrestricted gift

Reference Number

1972.1889

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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