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The Japanese have traditionally used symbols from the Chinese zodiac in their astrology and as part of a calendar that showed the time of year, date, time and even direction. Jikkan Junishi (literally 10 stems and 12 branches) refers to the Chinese zodiac symbols (also called "Eto" in Japanese). The 10 heavenly stems referred to yin-yang principles and the elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The 12 earthly branches included 12 animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and wild boar. The two sets were used together to enumerate years and other elements of the official calendar.

The 10 stems and 12 branches were used together to create a cycle of 60 two-symbol combinations. After importing the Chinese method, Japan established the Eto culture in 604 when Empress Suiko introduced the calendar for the first time. The calendar is typically depicted in a line, but when written out in a circle, the symbols are also used to note the time of day and directions. For example, the period between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. corresponds roughly to the hour of the rat and points north. The horse indicates a two-hour interval around midday and points south.

Just as some Westerners believe people take on the character of the zodiac symbol under which they are born, the Japanese also believe that people take on the characteristics of the animal sign of one's birth. For example, people born in the year of the rat are restless. Those born in the year of the ox are patient. Just as modern U.S. newspapers still print each day's horoscope, the zodiac continues to have a role in Japanese society. Since it would be discourteous to ask someone his or her age, Japanese people will often ask what someone's sign is and then privately calculate that person's age. ^_^

Want to know what your Juunishi sign is?
Look for your year of birth in the profiles below

- ~ - The Juunishi - ~ -

Rat/Mouse (nezumi) --- Born 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. They are prone to spend freely and seldom make lasting friendships. Those born under this sign are most compatible with Dragons and Monkeys, but least compatible with Horses.

Ox/Cow (ushi) --- Born 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 skilful. They have a gift for inspiring confidence in others. This allows them to achieve a great deal of success. Those born under this sign are most compatible with Snakes and Roosters, but least compatible with Sheep.

Tiger (tora) --- Born 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. Thay are most compatible with the Horse and Dog, but least compatible with the Monkey.

Rabbit (usagi) --- Born 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. Affectionate, yet shy, they seek peace throughout their lives. They are most compatible with the Sheep or Boar, but are least compatible with the Rooster.

Dragon (tatsu) --- Born 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. Those born under this sign are eccentric and their lives complex. They are most compatible with the Monkey and Rat, but least compatible with the Dog.

Snake (hebi) --- Born 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917 --- People born in the year of the Snake are 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. Those born under this sign are vain and high-tempered with a tendency towards physical beauty. They are most compatible with the Rooster and the Ox, but least compatible with the Boar.

Horse (uma) --- Born 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. They are popular, attractive and often ostentatious. Those born under this year also tend to need other people. They are most compatible with the Tiger and the Dog, but not the Rat.

Sheep (hitsuji) --- Born 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919, 1907 --- People born in the year of the Sheep are elegant, highly accomplished in the arts and 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. They are also timid and prefer anonyminty. They are most compatible with the Boar and Rabbit, but not the Ox.

Monkey (saru) --- Born 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 skilful 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. However, because they are such enthusiastic achievers, they are also easily discouraged and confused. They are most compatible with the Dragon and the Rat, but not the Tiger.

Rooster/Bird (tori) --- Born 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. Thay are pioneers in spirit and quest after knowledge, however, they are also selfish and eccentric. They are most compatible with Snakes and Oxen, but not Rabbits.

Dog (inu) --- Born 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 relationship with other people. Dog people inspire confidence in others and know how to keep secrets. Those born under this year are generous yet stubborn and are often selfish. They are most compatible with the Horse and Tiger, but least compatible with Dragons.

Boar (inoshishi) --- Born 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. They are noble and chivalrous and have lifelong friendships. They are most compatible with Rabbits and Sheep, but least compatible with other Boars.

- ~ - The Forgotten Cat - ~ -

Cat (neko) --- As you know, the cat was tricked from attending the party/race/etc (it depends on what version of the legend you read) and so is not a part of the zodiac. But, for all the neko-toshi (Cat year) fans out there, if the cat were a part of the zodiac, this is what I think those born under this sign would be like: They are stubborn, finicky, easily angered, strong-willed and have a definite lazy-streak. They are also perfectionists who admire beauty and cleanliness. They are also brave and extremely proud. They get along with Rabbits, Oxen and Onigiris, but they often fight with Rats. ...oh, and they seem to fear Boars ^_~ !

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Jikkan Junishi information was compiled from various sources, including a paper place mat that I "borrowed" from a Chinese restaurant over six years ago(!). Fruits Basket is copyrighted by Takaya Natsuki and Hakusensha. All other material contained within this site (intellectual and otherwise) are copyrighted by Laruku and PTK.

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