The moon rabbit or moon hare is a mythical figure in Asian folklore who lives on the Moon, based on pareidolia interpretations that identify the dark markings on the near side of the Moon as a rabbit or hare. The folklore originated in China and then spread to other Asian cultures. In East Asian folklore, the rabbit is seen as pounding with a mortar and pestle, but the contents of the mortar differ among Chinese, Japanese and Korean folklore. In Chinese folklore, the rabbit often is portrayed as a companion of the Moon goddess Chang’e, constantly pounding the elixir of life for her; but in Japanese and Korean versions, the rabbit is pounding the ingredients for rice cake. In some Chinese versions, the rabbit pounds medicine for the mortals. Unrelated moon folklore arising among native cultures of the Americas, also have rabbit themes and characters.