Yakudoshi? More Like Yaku-no-shi!

In Japanese culture, certain years are considered inauspicious based on the year you were born and are called “yakudoshi” (厄年). The logic behind these particular years comes from Chinese homophones (words that sounds alike). According to this helpful book, the years listed can also be homophones for bad things. For example “42”, if you sayContinue reading “Yakudoshi? More Like Yaku-no-shi!”

The Twelve Year Zodiac in Japan

With the Chinese New Year recently concluded, I got to thinking about the traditional 60-year zodiac in Japanese culture. The Japanese calendar was originally based off the Chinese Lunar calendar, though this changed in the late 19th century when Japan moved toward rapid Westernization and industrialization. However, the 12-animal zodiac, or jūnishi (十二支), is stillContinue reading “The Twelve Year Zodiac in Japan”