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Hakuraku (aka Sun Yang or Po Lo) was a hero in Oriental mythology. Dispatched by the Chinese Emperor with the task of locating the perfect horse, Hakuraku returned with news of a bay mare that he had found. However, when Imperial soldiers were sent to fetch the horse, they found it was a black stallion instead.[1][2]

The story illustrates the Confucian and Taoist adage that expert knowledge embodies the ability to see past exterior appearances to the true nature of a subject.[3][4]

The term hakuraku is now used as Japanese slang for a veterinarian.[2][5]


  1. ^ The Awakening of Japan. Forgotten Books. pp. 79–82. ISBN 978-1-4400-3231-8. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Legend in Japanese Art. Forgotten Books. pp. 213–214. ISBN 978-1-4400-8392-1. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  3. ^ T. Volker (1950). The Animal in Far Eastern Art and Especially in the Art of the Japanese Netsuke, with References to Chinese Origins, Traditions, Legends, and Art. BRILL. p. 101. ISBN 978-90-04-04295-7. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  4. ^ The Chrysanthemum. R. Meiklejohn & Company. 1881. p. 41. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Ohio State University. College of Veterinary Medicine. Alumni Association (1919). Veterinary alumni quarterly. p. 104. Retrieved 9 July 2012.