On: So,What’s Your Year?

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

What’s your sign? That question is familiar to many of us in the United States. Of course, the question relates itself to ‘signs’ of the Zodiac. Japan also, has a zodiac, but it is based on the year of one’s birth, not the month. Interestingly, in Japan they do not ask the month you were born or your age, just the year-sign of your birth.

The stories go that either the Jade emperor or before Buddha departed this earth, a zodiac of animals was set in the order that they came, when called to a race or a banquet (depending on who is telling the story). The rat responded first, so it is the rat that starts the zodiac. This zodiac basically cycles every 12 years and people born in a particular year are said to have characteristics of the animal of the year in which they were born. Oh, and if the people in Japan know the year-sign in which you were born, they can figure out how old you are without asking. 🙂

The order of the zodiac is as follows: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram (sheep or goat) monkey, rooster, dog, and boar (or pig). Twelve signs, one per year and then they are repeated, over and over again.

'Canopy of the Sun' Mt. Hei Japan

‘Canopy of the Sun’ Mt. Hei Japan

Below this beautiful canopy is a very ornate pedestal about 3 feet tall. It is made of hand carved wood animals, surrounded by gold leaf and beautiful black Japan lacquer. The geometrical polygon (many sides) is called a, Dodecagon (12 sides).

Dodecagon_ani.gif

Dodecagon_ani.gif

1YearRatBRat (nezumi)

Born 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912. People born in the year of the Rat are charming, honest, ambitious, and have a tremendous capacity for pursing a course to its end. They will work hard for their goals. They are easily angered, but maintain an outward show of control.

Rat (nezumi)

Rat (nezumi)

2YearOxBOx (ushi)

Born 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913. People born in the year of the Ox are patient, mentally alert and when required to speak are skillful. They have a gift for inspiring confidence in others. This allows them to achieve a great deal of success.

Ox (ushi)

Ox (ushi)

3YearTigerBTiger (tora)

Born 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914. People born in the year of the Tiger are sensitive, stubborn, short-tempered, courageous, selfish and slightly mean … yet they are deep thinkers and are capable of great sympathy for those they are close to and love.

Tiger (tora)

Tiger (tora)

4YearRabbitBRabbit (usagi)

Born 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915. People born in the year of the Rabbit are the most fortunate. They are smooth talkers, talented, ambitious, virtuous and reserved. They have exceedingly fine taste and are regarded with admiration and trust.

Rabbit (usagi)

Rabbit (usagi)

5YearDragonBDragon (tatsu)

Born 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916. People born in the year of the Dragon are healthy, energetic, excitable, short-tempered and stubborn. However, they are honest, sensitive, brave and can inspire trust in most anyone. They are the most peculiar of the 12 signs of the Zodiac cycle.

Dragon (tatsu)

Dragon (tatsu)

6YearSnakeBSnake (hebi)

Born 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917. I was born in the year of the snake. So if you think about it, you can figure out how old I am. 🙂

People born in the year of the Snake are (supposedly) deep thinkers, speak very little and possess tremendous wisdom. They are fortunate in money matters and will always be able to obtain it. They are determined in what they do and hate to fail. The other zodiac says I am a Sagitarian (archer) and if I was shooting straight, I would question that I, “speak very little,” have “tremendous wisdom,”  and  are “…fortunate in money matters!?” I would agree with the rest! And that would be that I am, determined and I’m not too happy about failure. 🙂

Snake (hebi)

Snake (hebi)

7YearHorseBHorse (uma)

Born 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906. People born in the year of the Horse are skillful in paying compliments and talk too much. They are skillful with money and handle finances well. They are quick thinkers, wise and talented. Horse people anger easily and are very impatient. In 2014, it is now, the Year of the Horse.

Horse (uma)

Horse (uma)

8YearRamBSheep or Ram (hitsuji)

Born 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919, 1907. People born in the year of the Sheep (or Ram) are elegant, highly accomplished in the arts, passionate about nature. At first glance, they seem to be better off than the people born in other years. They are deeply religious and passionate in whatever they do and believe in.

Sheep or Ram (hitsuji)

Sheep or Ram (hitsuji)

9YearMonkeyBMonkey (saru)

Born 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932, 1920, 1908. People born in the year of the Monkey are the erratic geniuses of the Zodiac cycle. They are clever and skillful in grand-scale operations and are smart when making financial deals. They are inventive, original and are able to solve the most difficult problems with ease.

Monkey (saru)

Monkey (saru)

10YearRoosterBRooster (tori)

Born 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921, 1909. People born in the year of the Rooster are deep thinkers and are always busy and devoted to their work. They always want to do more than they are able, and if they undertake a task beyond their abilities, they are disappointed. Rooster people have a habit of speaking out directly, whenever they have something on their minds.

Rooster (tori)

Rooster (tori)

11YearDogBDog (inu)

Born 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922, 1910. People born in the year of the Dog have all the fine qualities of human nature. They have a sense of duty and loyalty, they are extremely honest and always do their best in their relationships with other people. Dog people inspire confidence in others and know how to keep secrets.

Dog (inu)

Dog (inu)

12YearBoarBBoar (or Pig(inoshishi)

Born 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923, 1911. People born in the year of the Boar are brave. They have tremendous inner strength which no one can overcome. They display great honesty. They are short-tempered, yet hate to quarrel or have arguments. They are affectionate and kind to their loved ones.

Boar (or Pig) (inoshishi)

Boar (or Pig) (inoshishi)

So, what’s your year? 🙂

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Categories: Australia, Family & Friends, Fun, Japan, Japanese Zodiac, Kanji, The Gathering Place, Travel, Zodiac | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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