the moon is made of cheese?

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tokyo-cowboy

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i'm teaching English in jr.-high. waching "wollace & gromit" from oxford, my TA said, in catoons and comics, it is generally thought the moon is made of cheese. i wonder if this is the case in north amrerica as well.
 

BobK

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I wouldn't call it a belief. Children believe it as long as they believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. It's just a popular and infantile image, because the Moon is round, looks yellow, and sometimes appears to have a slice cut out of it. I imagine this applies also in America.

b

PS This idea is exploited in W&G because they both like cheese (the real stuff).
 
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optimistic pessimist

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I'm not a teacher.

In Japan, we have an infantile but nice image about the moon. It's a place where a rabbit from an old tale lives and makes rice cake. When Japanese people look up at the moon, we see a dark figure of the rabbit up there.

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BobK

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whsans

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Hi BobK,

Thanks for the info. This is what we sse in the moon.

OP


That's a funny coincidence.
In Korea, there is the same idea as in Japan.
I don't know where this myth came from, and why the moon and the rabbit are related to each other...

The following is a general image for what we see in the moon.
 

BobK

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PS OP - thanks for the image. ;-)
PPS I meant to say that the Man in the Moon myth isn't supposed to have any connection with the moon-made-of-cheese idea. They're totally independent - so if anyone's looking for a conection, don't bother! (I think in some fairy tales The Man in the Moon eats cheese, but it's not an essential part of the myth.)

b
 

optimistic pessimist

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Hi whsans,
I don't think this is just a coincidence. Historically, Korea was like Japan's big brother. For many centuries, technology and culture were brought into Japan from the continent via the Korean Peninsula. I guess "the rabbit on the moon" is also one of such stuff.

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Raymott

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I don't think it's as cultural as that. I used to wonder why people said there was a man in the moon when it was obviously a rabbit.
Here are lots of lunar rabbits.
moon rabbit - Google Search

Hamlet: Do you see yonder moon shadow that's almost in the shape of a man?
Polonius: By th' Mass, and 'tis like a man, indeed.
Hamlet: Methinks it is like a rabbit.
Polonius: It is backed like a rabbit.
Hamlet: Or like a lump of cheese.
Polonius: Very like a lump of cheese.

 

optimistic pessimist

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Hi Raymott,
The quotation from Hamlet really surprised me!
I wonder how and when and where the idea of rabbits living on the moon started. Is this really a coincidence? Or did they really exist? I'll do some research about it.

OP
 
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Raymott

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Hi Raymott,
The quotation from Hamlet really surprised me!
I wonder how and when and where the idea of rabbits living on the moon started. Is this really a coincidence? Or did they really exist?

OP
Shakespeare would be surprised too, no doubt.
I'm afraid I took some poetic licence in transcribing this passage.
The original actually refers to a camel, a weasel, and a whale.
 

BobK

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Hi Raymott,
The quotation from Hamlet really surprised me!
I wonder how and when and where the idea of rabbits living on the moon started. Is this really a coincidence? Or did they really exist? I'll do some research about it.

OP

Don't be too worried about the quotation. Polonius was an old and fearful man, who thought Hamlet was mad and might kill him. (He did in the end - possibly accidentally.) Hamlet was a prince, who seemed to wield the power of life and death. He was playing with Polonius - coming out with all possible beliefs, and Polonius was agreeing frantically with everything.

But the quotation does show that all these beliefs existed (and given the Elizabethan understanding of astronomy, were probably held as less infantile than they are now.)

b
 
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