13 December  2022

All About the Japanese Zodiac Signs

In Japan, the eto (the Japanese zodiac) for the coming year becomes a topic of conversation at the end of the year. Illustrations and photographs of the 12 animals appear on New Year’s cards and calendars. Fortunetellers make predictions about the year’s events based on the eto, and some people think personalities are connected to the animal of their birth year.

The Japanese zodiac refers to jikkan jūnishi (10 calendar signs and 12 zodiac signs). The 10 calendar signs and the 12 zodiac signs were said to be used as a calendar in China before the beginning of the first century, and were later introduced to Japan.

What are the 10 calendar signs and the 12 zodiac signs anyways? Many people may not be familiar with 10 calendar signs, but it was originally used to count from 1 to 10. The twelve zodiac sign is the set of animals that create the zodiac calendar. The Japanese zodiac is a combination of the 10 calendar signs and the 12 zodiac signs. This 12 zodiac sign overlaps with the 10 calendar, and because the least common denominator of 10 and 12 is 60, it creates the sexagenary cycle. There are 60 zodiac signs in total. Just as the age of sixty is called kanreki in Japan, it means that you have returned to your own zodiac sign over a period of sixty years.

The Japanese zodiac is said to have originated in ancient China, when Jupiter, which was considered the most precious star among the planets, circled the celestial sphere in about 12 years, and to indicate its position, each of them was given the name of an animal.

The order of the animals in twelve signs of the Japanese zodiac is said to derive from an ancient lore. The order is as follows: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar.

In the old days, God decided to gather 12 animals in order to create the zodiac. He asked the animals to meet on January 1st letting them know that the selection would be in accordance with the order in which they were arriving. The content of the race varies slightly from story to story, but the general point of the race is as follows. A rat quickly got off the back of a cow that was trying to be first and took first place. A dog and a monkey fought each other for first place. The cat was tricked by the rat and got the race schedule wrong. This is why it is said that there are no cats in the twelve Japanese zodiac signs.

The zodiac sign for 2023 is the rabbit. In Japan, the rabbit has long been said to be a very auspicious animal, with its jumping around bringing good luck, and its long ears attracting good fortune. The rabbit is also considered a symbol of peace and safety in the home because of its gentle, calm appearance. It is fun to arrange your table with such rabbit motif items in your daily life to bring good fortune into your house. We have many items with a rabbit motif in our collections. 

Celebratory Rabbit Items for the Year 2023

View Rabbit Motif Tableware

The Japanese zodiac home decoration is a good-luck talisman that prays for the family’s safety in the coming year. A zodiac sign figurine protects the house during the year. It can be displayed like a good luck charm for a year. There are many different New Year’s decorations, from traditional ones to new designs that fit modern lifestyles. Why not decorate your home with your own unique New Year’s decorations this year to ward off bad luck and bring good fortune for the coming year?