According to Chinese mythology, the hare is the fourth creature in the zodiac that leads the sun through the twelve terrestrial branches of the zodiac and resides in the moon. Called tu-z, the hare is the governor of Cancer, the direction east, and the hours 5 to 7 a.m.
The hare represents Fang in the eastern quadrant and is depicted with mortar and pestle as it pounds cinnamon twigs, the symbol of longevity. Also known as Jade Hare, "the lunar festivities [are] held on the 15th day of the 8th month. It expresses the wish that the children...will rise in the social scale and enjoy a peaceful life" (Eberhard, pg 140). The hare "was the second of the twelve emblems of the Emperor of China, symbolic of the Yin force in the life of the monarch...considered an animal of augury" (Cirlot, pg 139).
Cirlot, J.E., (1995). A Dictionary of Symbols. New York: Barnes & Noble Books
Eberhard, W. (1986). A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols. London: Routledge.