Do 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.
Contents ε=ε=┏( >_<)┛
- 1 History of Junishi(Japanese Zodiac)
- 2 How did Zodiac spread around?
- 3 Japanese Zodiac animals
- 4 Japanese Zodiac calendar
- 5 Japanese Zodiac signs(Bonji/梵字)
- 6 Zodiac hours and directions
- 7 Summary
History of Junishi(Japanese Zodiac)
Junishi 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?
The 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!
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!
See? It is easy to understand it, right? ∩(ﾟ∀ﾟ∩) Did you find your year’s animal?
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
This 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
This sign represents from Kokuuzou Bosatsu(虚空蔵菩薩). This sign is pronounced Trâḥ(Tara-ku in Japanese pronunciation).
Zodiac sign of Rabbit
This sign represents from Monju Bosatsu(文殊菩薩). This sign is pronounced maM(Man in Japanese pronunciation).
Zodiac sign of dragon and snake
This sign represents from Fugen Bosatsu(普賢菩薩). This sign is pronounced aM(An in Japanese pronunciation).
Zodiac sign of horse
This sign represents from Seishi Bosatsu(勢至菩薩). This sign is pronounced saH(Saku in Japanese pronunciation).
Zodiac sign of 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
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
This 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
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)
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!
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!