The basic guideline of knowing Japanese zodiac!

Japanese ZodiacDo you know what Junishi is? If you watch lots of anime especially Japanese ghost or Japanese historical anime, I am sure that you have heard it before! Have you watched Fruits Basket? This anime is one of my most all favorites!! The reason why I am talking about this anime is because characters of this anime turn into animals, and those animals are the Japanese zodiac!!

Have you ever watched this anime and if you have, did you ever notice the meaning behind the anime???? If you didn’t understand the meaning behind the anime or haven’t watched it yet, after studying the Japanese zodiac on this page, you need to watch Fruits Basket  againnnnnnnnnnn !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!\^=^/. If you haven’t watched Fruits Basket yet, I would like to encourage you to do so.

 

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History of Junishi(Japanese Zodiac)

 

Japanese zodiac animalsJunishi is zodiac in Japanese. Zodiac used to be used to know the year, month, day, the direction in China. This came to Japan in 553 A.C. Japanese government adopted as the law to use the zodiac in 690 A.C.

Zodiac is made of 12 animals. Are you going to ask me the reason why the zodiac is made up of animals? Hmmmmmm actually nobody knows the fact…..But people say when they tried to spread zodiac to common people to let them understand easily, they used animals. So common people could understand it easily and simply. Oh, are you going to ask me the reason why 12 too???

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm actually nobody knows the real truth about this either. Some people say this came from “the duodecimal system” or a year is 12 months or Jupiter’s orbital period is about 12 years…….Anyway, there are some other things I want to let you know, in Asia these 12 animals are a little bit different in every country. For example in Vietnam, Thailand, Tibet instead of Rabbit, they use cat!! How adorable!! Also, There are some more countries that use the zodiac! I personally thought the zodiac is only in Asia but I guess I was wrong. (;゚д゚)ァ…. Except for Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Tibet (I’ve already mentioned those countries above) Mongolia, India, Korea, Taiwan, and so on…In Europe Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Turkey, Finland!━━ΣΣ(゚Д゚;)━━I’m shocked! But after I researched zodiac, after a lot of research I now I understand why some European countries have zodiac too.

 

How did Zodiac spread around?

 

Japanese zodiac EmaThe reason why they have zodiac is because back then… a long time ago…like long long time ago! Like…(⌒_⌒; Okay! B.C 139 or B.C 1000 hey, it’s too old once again! Nobody knows specific dates! Okay now time to make you think and wonder, how many of you have ever heard of Silk Road? Yes, that is right there are roads that are actually called Silk Road. Had enough of racking your brain? Let me explain to you why they are called Silk Road! Silk Road was used to import and export cultures, religions, and many other things between Europe, China, and the West Asian countries. As you see the name of Silk Road you would automatically think the road is made of silk or at least appears to look like silk, however, maybe we should all think again. Here is the story behind the name, hang on to your seats and let’s take a ride on the History Express.

China used to make silk and export it to Europe, Roman Empire, India, and to West Asian countries. So now with this little bit of information you, you can now see the reason why some European countries have the zodiac! Did I explain good enough???o(・_・= ・_・)o To learn other cultures is so fun for me. I can get to know many things that I don’t know yet. Plus when I understand the background of things and how they connect to other incidents or to other countries, I find out that just maybe this world isn’t as big as we think it is!

It is so exciting to learn that even though different parts of parts of the world and different cultures there are things that we have in common. When that moment, I feel like I have grown up and maybe even became a little wiser! Do you know what I mean??^^Anyway since I’m interested in Japanese culture, I posted on Junishi map as English, Japanese, and Japanese pronunciation below. I hope this will help you to understand!

 

Japanese Zodiac animals

 

There are 12 animals. Let’s learn it!

EnglishJapanese PronunciationJapanese
MouseNezumiねずみ
OxUshiうし
TigerToraとら
RabbitUsagiうさぎ
DragonRyu-りゅう
SnakeHebiへび
HorseUmaうま
SheepHitsujiひつじ
MonkeySaruさる
CookNiwatoriにわとり
DogInuいぬ
BoarInoshishiいのしし

 

Japanese Zodiac calendar

 

This is very simple to understand how Japanese Zodiac goes! As you see the table above, the order of Japanese Zodiac repeats over and over.

I will show you an example of how Japanese Zodiac goes around!

 

YearJapanese Zodiac
1960Mouse
1961Ox
1962Tiger
1963Rabbit
1964Dragon
1965Snake
1966Horse
1967Sheep
1968Monkey
1969Cook
1970Dog
1971Boar
1972Mouse
1973Ox
1974Tiger
1975Rabbit
1976Dragon
1977Snake
1978Horse
1979Sheep
1980Monkey
1981Cook
1982Dog
1983Boar
1984Mouse
1985Ox
1986Tiger
1987Rabbit
1988Dragon
1989Snake
1990Horse
1991Sheep
1992Monkey
1993Cook
1994Dog
1995Boar
1996Mouse
1997Ox
1998Tiger
1999Rabbit
2000Dragon
2001Snake
2002Horse
2003Sheep
2004Monkey
2005Cook
2006Dog
2007Boar
2008Mouse
2009Ox
2010Tiger
2011Rabbit
2012Dragon
2013Snake
2014Horse
2015Sheep
2016Monkey
2017Cook
2018Dog
2019Boar
2020Mouse
2021Ox
2022Tiger
2023Rabbit
2024Dragon
2025Snake
2026Horse
2027Sheep
2028Monkey
2029Cook
2030Dog
2031Boar

 

See? It is easy to understand it, right? ∩(゚∀゚∩) Did you find your year’s animal?

 

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Japanese Zodiac signs(Bonji/梵字)

 

Each Zodiac has signs. Those sings are Brahmic scripts. Brahmic scripts is from Hinduism. This scripts came to japan with Buddhism.

It is said that as we are born,  the Zodiac and the Buddha to protect you are decided in the Buddhist world. The Buddha will be a guardian for you! Let’s see which guardian of Buddha you belong to!

Here is the list of Japanese Zodiac signs!

 

Zodiac sign of mouse

Japanese Zodiac Sign MouseThis sign represents from Senju Kanzeon Bosatsu(千手観世音菩薩). This sign is pronounced hriiH(Kiri-ku in Japanese pronunciation).

 

Zodiac sign of ox and tiger

Japanese Zodiac Sign Ox and TigerThis sign represents from Kokuuzou Bosatsu(虚空蔵菩薩). This sign is pronounced Trâḥ(Tara-ku in Japanese pronunciation).

 

Zodiac sign of Rabbit

Japanese Zodiac Sign RabbitThis sign represents from Monju Bosatsu(文殊菩薩). This sign is pronounced maM(Man in Japanese pronunciation).

 

Zodiac sign of dragon and snake

Japanese Zodiac Sign Dragon and SnakeThis sign represents from Fugen Bosatsu(普賢菩薩). This sign is pronounced aM(An in Japanese pronunciation).

 

Zodiac sign of horse

Japanese Zodiac Sign HorseThis sign represents from Seishi Bosatsu(勢至菩薩). This sign is pronounced saH(Saku in Japanese pronunciation).

 

Zodiac sign of sheep and monkey

Japanese Zodiac Sign Sheep and Monkey

This sign represents from Dainichi Nyorai(大日如来). This sign is pronounced vaṃ(Ban in Japanese pronunciation).

 

Zodiac sign of cook

Japanese Zodiac Sign Cook

This sign represents from Fudou Myouou(不動明王). This sign is pronounced hāṃ(Ka-n in Japanese pronunciation).

 

Zodiac sign of dog and boar

Japanese Zodiac Sign Dog and BoarThis sign represents from Amida Nyorai(阿弥陀如来). This sign is pronounced hriiH(Kiri-ku in Japanese pronunciation). This sign is as same as the mouse but the guardian of Buddha is different.

 

Zodiac hours and directions

 

Japanese zodiac hour and direction

Photo: Ehou-direction Wikimedia Commons with CC License Attribution

Hours

Let’s see the zodiac hour at first. It’s easy to explain this with a clock.

  • 12 o’clock – mouse(子)
  • 1 o’clock – ox(丑)
  • 2 o’clock – tiger(寅)
  • 3 o’clock – rabbit(卯)
  • 4 o’clock – dragon(辰)
  • 5 o’clock – snake(巳)
  • 6 o’clock – horse(午)
  • 7 o’clock – sheep(未)
  • 8 o’clock – monkey(申)
  • 9 o’clock – cook(酉)
  • 10 o’clock – dog(戌)
  • 11 o’clock – boar(亥)

 

Directions

The directions are simple since you understand the zodiac hours.

  • North is 12 o’clock = mouse(子)
  • South is South is 6 o’clock = horse(午)
  • East is 3 o’clock = rabbit(卯)
  • West is 9 o’clock = cook(酉)

Could you understand them? I think all you have to remember is the order of zodiac!

 

Summary

 

Zodiac has long long history and there are many countries still have this tradition. It is great to know the deep history of something all the time.

By the way, I have seen many people put the tattoo of Japanese Zodiac sign on their body! It looks interesting to see that!

Zodiac has something that is attractive to people! I’m sure of it!

Well, let’s call it a day!

Ja~~ne~~! (^~^)/~

 

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