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Oolong
ウーロン
Oolong last head performance.jpg
Oolong balancing a waffle on his head in his last "head performance"
Background information
Born July 28, 1994(1994-07-28)
Hokkaidō, Japan
Died January 7, 2003 (aged 8)
Other name(s) Oolong the rabbit
The pancake rabbit
Nationality Japanese
Internet activity
Period active 1999—2003
Genre(s) Photoblogging
Image macro
Official site Oolong's Photo journal

Oolong (ウーロン Ūron ?) (July 28, 1994 — January 7, 2003), named after the oolong variety of tea, was a domestic rabbit owned by photographer Hironori Akutagawa. The rabbit was famous for its ability to balance a variety of objects on his head.

Contents

Website

Oolong was a well known Internet phenomenon, through a large number of photographs posted by Akutagawa on his website. The site featured "photo journeys" of the domestic rabbit traveling with his master through the house, yard, and other locations. The website became known to a wider audience when it was covered in 2001 by Syberpunk, a site which focuses on odd things in Japanese culture.[1]

Oolong attracted attention because Akutagawa had trained the rabbit to balance objects on his head, an art called "Head Performance" by his owner.[2] The first object balanced on Oolong's head was a 35mm film canister on 25 May 1999.[3] Soon, Akutagawa had the rabbit balance a variety of things on his head, including tea cups, bread, fruit, pancakes (actually dorayaki), and even a rabbit skull. Although most reactions on the Internet were positive, there were some complaints by people who believed the practice to be cruel to animals. In response, Akutagawa wrote in a message to website visitors: "Some visitors have written me e-mails, accusing me of being cruel to my rabbit and that I am abusing my pet. This was never my intention when I included numerous links to photographs, showing Oolong's unique ability to hold objects on his head. This is not a site to mock rabbits, or demonstrate animal abuse. I'm sure you understand it if you see whole my site [sic]."[4]

Throughout the rabbit's lifetime, the photographer continued to document his journeys through natural and not-so-natural environments as well as take hundreds of pictures of the rabbit balancing objects. Oolong has been noticed by the media, including the New York Times,[5] and has become a widespread Internet meme. The best known of Oolong's photographs was one that was widely used as an image macro called "Bunny Wafflehead." Featuring Oolong balancing a dorayaki on his head, it had the tagline "I have no idea what you're talking about... so here's a bunny with a pancake on its head."[6]

Origins

The head performance is actually a result of the domestic rabbit's natural tendency to cuddle with each other, other animals (like housecats) and their owners by putting their heads underneath the others' chin.

Death

Oolong died on January 7, 2003. Akutagawa took photographs[7] of the rabbit's last moments alive and has included it in his website. Akutagawa now owns a new rabbit by the name of Yuebing (ユエビン Yuebin ?), which he hopes to raise in a way similar to Oolong.[8] Yuebing continues the theme of Chinese foods, Yuebing being Chinese for Mooncake.

References

External links








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