Rabbits and Relics is an A5 black and white zine about Rae’s exploration of Okunoshima – Rabbit Island.
I have always wanted to travel to Japan, so to say I was excited about any sort of Japan-related zine is a bit of an understatement. I’ve heard of various animal places like the fox village and cat island, but rabbit island was new to me.
I think the thing that really struck me about this zine is the glimpse of reality Rae gives in this zine. At the start, Rae mentions how the contrast of adorable rabbits and World War 2 relics is both striking and confronting.
Take what you will of the beautiful living alongside the symbols of the horrible, but it really spoke to me. This isn’t some glossed up, glossing over happy fun time tourist brochure. Rae provides us with real pictures, with facts both playful and painful.
Aesthetically, the font is big, clear, and easy to read. I don’t need my glasses or ideal lighting to read this zine. The photos Rae includes echoes their feelings about the island with pictures of desolate buildings next to adorable rabbits.
This zine also serves as a good introduction to the island in that it has a ‘how to get there’ page as well as a couple popular theories about how the rabbits got to the island in the first place.
Rabbits and Relics as a fairly quick, interesting read about Okunoshima. It’s definitely worth checking out if you have any interest in Japan, rabbits, World War 2, or anything in between.