Whether or not you realize this – I…am a “Bunny Mom”.
Hudson (That’s his name) is a Polish Dwarf rabbit…he’s about 3lbs fully grown and – except for my kids – the light of my life. (Plus, the fact that he looks like a chocolate Easter bunny doesn’t hurt either)
Now…why am I showing off a picture of my lil man? Aside from that he’s devilishly handsome, I mean…
There is an island in Japan called Ōkunoshima:
It’s not usually found on many maps…except for maybe this one:
It’s also known as “Rabbit Island” Care to guess why…?
(The reason she’s running like that? If she raised her feet any higher, she’d have been stepping on them)
Animal-loving tourists come from all over to visit the over 300 friendly rabbits at this no-hunting allowed (which also means no dogs or cats) sanctuary to not only feed and pet them, but also enjoy the peaceful setting as well…
As you explore the island, and the museum, you’d be strongly advised to stay on the paths marked because Rabbit Island has a much darker origin…
Remember when I said the island wasn’t generally found on (m)any maps?
You’re probably wondering how so many rabbits got there to begin with. We’re going to look back to World War II. Between 1929 – 1945, Okunoshima was the location of a secret poison gas factory employing 6000 people. Why was it a secret? Because they (the Japanese government) had signed the Geneva Protocol which banned the use of chemical weapons.
…and you simply can *not* have a secret chemical weapons factory if people can just find it on a map! So by omitting the island from the map and *PRESTO* you make an island disappear…let’s see David Copperfield pull *that* stunt…sure he can make them disappear, but he can he wiped them out of existence?
While there has never been any decontamination/clean up, the island has been deemed safe for tourists, the island (including the water) is still contaminated. After the war, Allied Occupation Forces came in and dumped, buried, and burned the gas. And according to tour guides, there are 11 locations on the island where remnants of the gas were, and are, buried.
And the rabbits…?
Well…the factories wanted to test the products…on the ancestors of all the rabbits living on the island today. When the factories closed, they simply released the remaining rabbits with a carrot and cheerful: “No hard feelings, huh?”
Buttttttt …the former director of the Okunoshima Poison Gas Museum swears that no rabbits were used to test the effects of the chemical weapons.
This leads us to the second possible theory – school kids did it! Yep, back in 1971 a group of school children just HAPPENED to have 8 rabbits with them and SOMEHOW they got loose…
Yes…that sorta thing happens every day….
Ok, I’m starting get a little bummed out on this…
I will say this..I do appreciate that they took a place that caused so much pain to humans and animals alike, and turned it into a peaceful sanctuary.
And I *still* wanna experience this place…!
Well, since there are so very few…ok there are NO songs about rabbits…and found it in poor taste to add a song/video by Echo and the Bunnymen (“The Killing Moon” for example from Donnie Darko) I decided to add something from another craze during the 70’s music scene…the “Urban Cowboy” years:
Ladies and Gentlemen: Eddie Rabbitt (Yes, that IS his real name…)
If you decide to check out this film this is NOT the Academy Award Clint Eastwood you’ know…this is the “cowboy” Clint…but not the cool Spaghetti Western cowboy….again – the “urban cowboy”: featuring a truck-drivin’, hard-fightin’, hard-drinkin’, hard-lovin’, monkey (ok, orangutan)-totin’, not-too-bright, Clint Eastwood…
Clyde (The orangutan) was the best part of the film…