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The mystery of the disappearing rabbit

In the pantheon of famous web memes, along with the Dancing Baby and the Numa-Numa guy, a place must surely be saved for Oolong the rabbit:

His owner, Hironori Akutagawa, has posted dozens of pictures of Oolong on his own website. One of these was modified by an anonymous fan into the above graphic, which has come to be widely used on web forums to express bewilderment at someone else's comments.

Oolong was, of course, best known for his ability to balance things on his head, which Hironori refers to as tougei (頭芸), or "head performance":
According to Hironori's comments on this site (in Japanese), this is far from a unique talent. He's had several bunnies over the last 24 years, all of which could do it. He starts training them while they're still young, by petting them and, when they are relaxed, placing a light object on their head. For the bunnies, it's almost an extension of the earlier petting, and therefore feels natural.

After gaining widespread attention through this page on Syberpunk, Oolong garnered his very own Wikipedia entry, was featured in the New York Times, and even inspired copycats. It’s perhaps not much of an exaggeration to say that he brought joy to thousands of people around the world.

Sadly, Oolong died on January 7, 2003. But Hironori soon obtained a new rabbit, Yuebing, to carry on the head-balancing tradition. Apparently, after a rocky start, Yuebing was making some progress:
However — and here is where the mystery begins — the last post on Yuebing's website is dated March 1, 2005. After years of posting, on average, several times a month, Hironori has posted no new photos for almost four months.

I have no idea what's become of Yuebing or her owner. An email I sent to Hironori has thus far gone unanswered. I hope they're both well. If anyone has any leads or information, please let me know.


Anonymous said...

Interesting pictures. This is a new one on me. 

Posted by gindy

Anonymous said...


Posted by Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Aw, damn. I had just found out about Oolong dying the other day, and then about Yuebing. Bad news, good news, and back to bad again. Let me off this rollercoaster! 

Posted by TC

Anonymous said...

I love this rabbit!Cho kawaiiii--!! I wonder how he keeps his balance with a tea cup on the head. 

Posted by quansh



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