Astrology in Japan

Astrology has always been a fascinating window through which to explore the relationship between the cosmos and humanity, and Japan is no exception. In this country rich in traditions, Japanese astrology, also known as "Jūni-shi" or the zodiac of the twelve animals , occupies a particularly important place. Based on lunar and solar cycles, Japanese astrology offers a unique look into the personality, destiny and culture of this island nation. Each sign, assigned to a specific year, brings its own meaning and essence to those born under its influence. In this article, we will delve into the captivating world of Japanese astrology, exploring each sign, its history, meaning, and year of attribution, to better understand how this ancient tradition continues to influence daily life throughout the world. Japan.

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Japanese astrology, although based on lunar and solar cycles, differs in many aspects from more familiar Western astrology. At the heart of this tradition is the zodiac of the twelve animals, also called "Jūni-shi". Unlike Western astrology, which primarily focuses on solar astrology based on the month of birth, Japanese astrology assigns great importance to the year of birth.

The Japanese Zodiac consists of twelve animal signs, each representing a specific year in a twelve-year cycle. Each year is associated with a zodiac animal and one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. This combination creates a sixty-year cycle, offering a greater variety of signs and influences than Western astrology.

When a person is born, their Japanese zodiac sign is determined by the year of birth, while the element is determined by the last digit of your date of birth. For example, a person born in 1990 would be under the influence of the Metal Horse, while a person born in 1991 would be under the influence of the Metal Goat. This complex combination allows for a more nuanced interpretation of a person's personality and destiny based on their year and element.

Japanese astrology is not limited to individual personality. It is also used to predict compatibility between people, plan weddings and important events, and even guide political decisions. It is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and continues to influence many aspects of daily life in Japan.


In Japan, it is not your month of birth but your year of birth which will determine your astrological sign, therefore, if you were born for example in 2006, you will have the astrological sign of the dog, if you were born in 1995, you will have the astrological sign of the Pig, etc... The principle is quite simple 😉.


The elements play an essential role in Japanese astrology, adding an extra dimension to the interpretation of zodiac signs. Here is a description of the five elements used in Japanese astrology and their meaning:

1. Wood (Ki) : Wood represents growth, creativity and flexibility, people associated with this element are generally perceived as inventive, adaptable and caring. Wood promotes personal growth, exploration and artistic development.

2. Fire (Hi) : Fire symbolizes passion, energy and creativity, individuals linked to this element are often seen as dynamic, charismatic and full of life. Fire encourages self-expression, self-confidence and the pursuit of fiery passions.

3. Earth (Tsuchi) : Earth is associated with stability, reliability and responsibility, people with this element are known for their sense of duty and their ability to offer strong support. Earth favors building strong foundations, loyalty and security.

4. Metal (Kin) : Metal embodies determination, inner strength and perseverance, individuals linked to this element are often considered resolute, disciplined and trustworthy. Metal encourages problem solving, concentration and goal accomplishment.

5. Water (Mizu) : Water represents intuition, flexibility and emotion, people associated with this element are often perceived as intuitive, sensitive and compassionate. Water promotes the exploration of emotions, creativity and adaptability.

As discussed earlier in this article, in Japanese astrology, each zodiac sign is also associated with one of the five elements, creating a unique combination that influences personality, destiny and a person's life forecast. For example, the year of the "Fire Horse" differs from that of the "Metal Horse" due to the additional elemental influence, adding nuance to the astrological interpretation. The elements play an important role in understanding oneself and others, as well as making important decisions in daily life in Japan.

To determine your element, you must take into account the last digit of your year of birth, so if you were born in 1991, you will be linked to Metal. The numbers correspond as follows: 0 and 1 for metal, 2 and 3 for water, 4 and 5 for wood, 6 and 7 for fire, and finally, 8 and 9 for Earth.


There are 12 different Japanese astrological signs, we will list them one after the other in order to know more about each of them.

RAT (NEZUMI) - 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, ...

The Rat, or "Nezumi," is the first sign of the Japanese zodiac, assigned in 2020. It is considered the symbol of prosperity and the new dawn, people born under this sign are generally seen as intelligent, charismatic and business savvy. The Rat is also associated with innovation and leadership, individuals with this sign are known for their ability to seize opportunities and overcome obstacles with intelligence. The year of the Rat is synonymous with renewal and bold initiatives.

OX (USHI) - 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, ...

The Ox, or "Ushi," symbolizes stability, patience and inner strength, natives of this sign are renowned for their ability to persevere in the face of adversity. They are considered hardworking and trustworthy. The Year of the Ox, assigned in 2021, is all about hard work, realism and solid construction. This is a favorable period for accomplishing long-term projects.

TIGER (TORA) - 2022, 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, ...

The Tiger, or "Tora," embodies bravery, determination, and passion; people born under this sign are often courageous and ambitious, ready to take on any challenge. The year of the Tiger, assigned in 2022, is marked by boundless energy and a fierce desire to succeed. It is a favorable time to undertake daring projects and pursue your dreams with determination.

RABBIT (USAGI) - 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, ...

The Rabbit, or "Usagi," is the sign of gentleness, creativity, and wisdom, natives of this sign are often considered kind and thoughtful. The year of the Rabbit, assigned in 2023, is conducive to creativity, artistic expression, and the search for harmony. It's a great time to cultivate positive relationships and explore new ideas.

DRAGON (TATSU) - 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, ...

The Dragon, or "Tatsu," is a symbol of divine power, strength, and success, people born under this sign are often seen as natural leaders, endowed with great energy. The year of the Dragon, assigned in 2012, is associated with the realization of big plans and the fulfillment of ambitious dreams. This is a time when luck and success are within reach.

SNAKE (HEBI) - 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, ...

The Snake, or "Hebi," is the sign of quiet wisdom; people born under this sign are often considered thoughtful and insightful. They have a great ability to understand the complexities of life and anticipate events. The year of the Snake, assigned in 2013, is associated with caution, reflection and planning. This is a great time to make important, informed decisions.

HORSE (UMA) - 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, ...

The Horse, or "Uma," embodies freedom and adventure; natives of this sign are often considered independent and passionate about discovering the world. The Year of the Horse, assigned in 2014, is synonymous with exciting opportunities and travel. It is a favorable time to explore new horizons, whether on a personal or professional level.

GOAT (HITSUJI) - 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, ...

The Goat, or "Hitsuji," symbolizes gentle creativity; people born under this sign are often artistic and sensitive. They have an innate talent for artistic expression and creation. The year of the Goat, assigned in 2015, is conducive to artistic exploration, the search for beauty and sensitivity. This is a great time to develop your creative talents.

MONKEY (SARU) - 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, ...

The Monkey, or "Saru," embodies inquisitive intelligence, natives of this sign are often seen as agile-minded, curious and ingenious. They have a talent for finding creative solutions to problems. The year of the Monkey, assigned in 2016, is synonymous with intellectual discoveries and exciting challenges. It is a favorable time for learning and exploring new ideas.

ROOSTER (TORI) - 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, ...

The Rooster, or "Tori," symbolizes loyalty and vigilance, people born under this sign are often considered dedicated and attentive to details. They have a strong sense of responsibility and discipline. The year of the Rooster, assigned in 2017, is favorable for carrying out important projects and protecting interests. This is a great time to be vigilant and persistent.

DOG (INU) - 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, ...

The Dog, or "Inu," embodies fidelity and protection, natives of this sign are often considered loyal and devoted to those close to them, they are ready to defend what is important to them. The year of the Dog, awarded in 2018, is synonymous with solidarity and protection. It is a favorable time to strengthen family and friendly ties, as well as to watch over those you love.

BOAR (INOSHISHI) - 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, ...

The Boar, or "Inoshishi," symbolizes perseverance and achievement, people born under this sign are often seen as determined to achieve their goals, they have a strong sense of persistence. The year of the Boar, assigned in 2019, is favorable for carrying out long-term projects and making dreams come true. This is an ideal time to persevere in your efforts.

Japanese astrology is another treasure of Japanese culture, thanks to this article you now know what your element and your Japanese astrological sign are. Do not hesitate to share this article with your friends who are fans of Japanese culture so that they too can discover which Japanese sign is assigned to them.

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