Many Eastern cultures see, instead of a "man," a rabbit on the moon. This rabbit is considered to be pounding "mochi" (餅; lit. "cake"), which are flat rice cakes. In the original Chinese version of the legend, the rabbit pounded medicine in a mortar, but this became "mochi" as the legend made its way to Japan because the phrase "mochi zuki" (餅好き; meaning "I like rice cake") sounds like "mochi tsuki" (餅月; meaning "rice cake moon," referring to the full moon). This legend was referred to many times throughout the anime and manga series, including when Makoto Kino humorously pointed out to Usagi that she was, indeed, a rabbit on the moon.
Usagi Tsukino and Chibiusa's names (月野うさぎ) are puns on the phrase "rabbit of the moon" (月の兎), referring to the image of a rabbit people in Japan see in the moon, much like the West's "man on the moon." In the TokyoPop manga translation and many translations around the world, including the Greek, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan ones, Usagi's name was changed to "Bunny." People from the Black Moon Clan in Sailor Moon R referred to Chibiusa as "the rabbit" while hunting her.
The appearances of both Usagi and Chibiusa are supposed to resemble rabbits. Usagi's odango were intended to look like rabbit ears; Naoko Takeuchi lamented that the resemblence was not strong enough, and this is why she gave Chibiusa the more elongated odango. Chibiusa's eyes are also red, a trait attributed to an albino rabbit.
Usagi's room in all variations of Sailor Moon was covered with bunnies from stuffed animals to stationery. In the "making of" preview episode of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Miyuu Sawai gave a tour of Usagi's room, counting how many bunnies she could find in the decor.
Naoko Takeuchi, when drawing a self portrait, often renders herself as a little bunny or as a human with rabbit ears. She also draws her husband (Yoshihiro Togashi) and son as a dog and puppy, respectively, as does Togashi himself, and her editor and friend Fumio Osano as a pig. This is not an unusual practice as other manga authors are known for drawing themselves as animals or characters such as Hiroshi Aro, the creator of Futaba-Kun Change!, who draws himself as a spectacle-wearing alligator.