Why are the mice (or rats) representing this year in the Chinese zodiac often depicted munching on an akakabu (red turnip)?

I’m guessing this one is a pun on a good luck word, but no idea. Anyone else?

Question from Blue Lotus blog.



  1. Chris B said,

    February 2, 2008 at 5:36 am

    What does FASAQ mean??
    Frequently asked, stupid ass questions??

    Just a guess ;)

  2. alexcase said,

    February 3, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Frequently and seldomly asked questions, but yours is much wittier!

  3. alexcase said,

    February 6, 2008 at 6:56 am

    A possible explanation, also from the Blue Lotus blog:

    “One possible explanation is this, and it is based on a pun: My wife told me that a rat is dobunezumi or guttermouse. A mouse is called hatsukanezumi, and a radish is called hatsukadaikon. She wasn’t sure at first, but explained later that hatsuka is used to explain the rapid growth of both mice and radishes. Hatsuka means “20 day” or something like that.”

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