Noah Kawaguchi

The Were-Rabbit

昔々、or in other words, once upon a time, or something like that, there was a young boy. He lived not on a farm, but also not too far from many farms, mostly corn. The thing about corn is that unlike, for example, Shibuya Crossing, corn stays dark and quiet at night, making the details of various celestial bodies much harder to ignore. On some nights, the boy looked up and saw a friendly semicircle, or even a smiling crescent. On other nights, the boy looked up and saw himself looking back, which disturbed him greatly. You see, on those nights, a round looking-glass, probably much like those that were revered in ancient times, would amble across this corner of the cosmos, causing the boy to be afflicted with a gruesome transformation that exposed his true nature. As any casual viewer of the reflection in the sky on those nights will tell you, sometimes a man could be seen more clearly, while other times, a rabbit prevailed. Yet, as those who know the true story will tell you, the physical form back on Earth was usually somewhere in between. Unfortunately, corn is extremely dangerous for rabbits to consume, due to both its nutritional content and its physical shape. So, when the boy looked in the mirror in the moon for a man, but instead some sort of half rabbit thing looked back, he was very disappointed. After some time, the boy found himself too distracted by earthly obligations to spend so much time gazing at the sky, and whenever he did catch a moment to look up, he rarely saw much more than craters. Eventually, he made his peace with all the corn around him that he couldn’t eat when some new friends gave him some nice big radishes and he even learned how to prepare a few dishes using them. But every now and then, on particularly clear nights, the two heavenly figures return to peer down on the boy, and the Were-Rabbit resurfaces. He’s much friendlier now, but still that same blended being who had trouble eating corn. おしまい、or in other words, the end, or something like that. 

Noah Kawaguchi is a musician, writer, and researcher. Born in Tennessee and raised in Ohio, he is a mixed Shin-Nisei Japanese American. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory, where he majored in Jazz Studies and minored in East Asian Studies. He is currently an MA student in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. Recent work, up-to-date information, and social media links are available at Photo by Mido Lee, art by Noah Kawaguchi.