A round moon shaped Japanese kogo or incense box with sprinkled gold lacquer maki-e motif of an anthropomorphic rabbit pounding mochi. The rabbit wears a decorative robe with scrolling vine motifs. The interior of the box and foot are adorned with nashiji gold flake on black lacquer ground.
The subject comes from the tale of the rabbit who lives on the moon and prepares an elixir of immortality with a mortar and pestle similar to those used to pound mochi. People in East Asia have long seen the Moon Rabbit as a symbol for the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is a celebration of the full moon and the fall harvest. Rabbits are also seen as symbols use of fertility, new life, and prosperity.
Meiji period (1868-1912)
Dimensions: 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 1 1/4″ H