The Japanese Zodiac Signs Explained

If you are passionate about astrology, you probably wondered what your sign is in the Japanese zodiac. In the article below we will try to answer this question. There are two versions of the Japanese horoscope. The first version is almost identical to the Chinese zodiac and is called Junichi, and the second is based on Ancient Symbols.

What Are the Japanese Zodiac Signs Based on Jikka System

Like many other aspects of culture, the Japanese horoscope (Junichi) was borrowed from China about 1200-1300 years ago.

The Junichi horoscope is associated with the Jikka system, which also came to Japan from China.

The Japanese 12 zodiac animals in order are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar.

There are two differences between the Chinese and Japanese zodiacs. The Japanese have replaced the Pig with the Boar (just as in the Vietnamese zodiac, the Rabbit was substituted by the Cat) and another difference is the fact that the Chinese zodiac is calculated according to the solar calendar, unlike the Japanese who use the lunar calendar. Just like in the Chinese zodiac, Japanese signs depend on the year you were born.

Japanese zodiac signs in order

Rat (Nezumi) 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924

You are full of life and capable of giving much love!

Ox (Ushi) 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925

You are idealists, dream big, but are prepared to follow your dreams to the end.

Tiger (Tora) 2022, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926,

You are versatile and have the ability to adapt to all kinds of more complicated or difficult situations in life.

Rabbit (Usagi) 2023, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927

You are very serious and hardworking and are able to achieve almost all your goals in life.

Dragon (Tatsu) 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928

You are sentimental and always oscillate between reason and heart, but it matters that you have great faith in your heart.

Snake (Hebi) 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929

You have a generous nature and are jumpy, ready at any time to help your friend(s) who need you.

Horse (Uma) 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930

You are friendly and open with everyone, and your positive attitude helps you win over those around you.

Goat (Hitsuji) 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931

You are fighters, dynamic, and always motivated to do something special in life!

Monkey (Saru)2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932

You are strong, and this will always help you in the face of hardships and you should always be confident!

Rooster (Tori) 2017, 2005, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921

You are fragile, sensitive, and mysterious. For you, love is the greatest achievement in life!

Dog (Inu) 2018, 2006, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922

You may be shell-shocked, but you love freedom very much and don’t compromise for anyone.

Boar (Inoshishi) 2019, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923

You are an honest, brave, and devoted person. You don’t like complications, arguments, or disputes. Marriages are not always happy. 

2. Japanese Zodiac Signs Based on Ancient Symbols

There are 11 Japanese signs, one less than the European ones, and they are named after plants, animals, legendary characters and elements of the environment around us. 

Here are the 11 zodiac signs of the Japanese zodiac: Emperor, Empress, Tortoise, Garden Stone, Bridge, Sun, Ox, Moon, Lotus Flower, Bamboo, and Cherry Blossom.

Find out which symbol represents you, based on your date of birth.

What Symbol Represents You in the Japanese Zodiac Based on Ancient Symbols

The Emperor (11 October – 18 November)

You have a domineering way about you and a desire to assert yourself professionally takes over. You’re friendly, generous, and honest with anyone who recognizes your authority and who doesn’t consider annoying you. You love passionately, you control the relationship and you demand your partner to have eyes only for you.

If your birthday is around that time, then you are definitely joining the world of the Emperor people. These natives turn out to be loyal friends. You take pleasure in giving your loved ones thoughtful, heartfelt gifts. Japanese horoscope for Emperor emphasizes the desire to be in power, to lead to success.

Empress (November 19 – December 26)

Unlike Emperors, the Empresses make their point with tact and femininity. You’re very concerned about your appearance and like to show off your beauty. You’re the life of the party and moments spent alone are not to your taste. You need someone like you, with whom you share the same dreams and value system.

Empresses stand out for their beauty, their elegance, their flirtatiousness, and their impeccable appearance. They don’t like solitude and are always in the center of attention, surrounded by people who appreciate, support, or even deify them. They are strong, wise, and love parties, and music. The man of an Empress cannot be just anyone, he must stand out, respect, and dominate her or at least equal her.

Moon (27 December – 18 January)

You are mysterious, attractive, serene and very determined when you set your mind to something. Creative, intelligent and intuitive, you always find a way out of even the most difficult situations. 

You follow your goals with great calm, and determination and no one can turn you away from your path. Full of imagination, you find the most ingenious solutions to problems. 

 Only love can make you lose your temper, lose yourself, and feel helpless. You can easily go from one state to another, you can be melancholic or impulsive, and this instability gives people a headache. You need a partner who will put up with your moodiness and frequent personality crises.

Tortoise (January 19 – February 14)

An ancient symbol of wisdom, the tortoise is characterized above all by gentleness and a spirit of sacrifice. Persevering and cautious, if you belong to this sign you think a lot before acting, and once you make a decision, you don’t change your mind. You are a devoted friend, you are emotionally involved, but you don’t look back when you are hurt or when your principles are trampled on.

Cherry blossom (15 February – 20 March)

You’re passionate, cheerful, romantic, and like to make the most of your life. You live in the moment with intensity, never panic and for you, there are no unresolvable problems. In love, you are particularly affectionate and demand the same attention from your partner.

Sun (March 21 – April 29)

Those born under this sign that symbolizes perfection shine! They are strong, orderly, confident, and courageous. Nothing discourages you and you go to great lengths to fulfill your plans. Luck is usually with you, perhaps because you are always thinking positively. You love madly and passionately, but jealousy taken to extremes can suffocate and drive your loved one away.

Bamboo (30 April – 4 June)

You always go from agony to ecstasy and back again. You’re strong, confident, and optimistic, that is until suffering knocks you down and you despair. You should rely more on yourself and less on those around you, that’s where all the disappointments come from. In love, you are adventurous and tend to be unfaithful. It’s better to break off a relationship that no longer satisfies you because playing a double game leads nowhere.

Ox (June 5 – July 6)

This symbol represents power, energy, and aggressiveness. You are impulsive and unstable, but at the same time, very much attached to family and friends. You tend to call a spade a spade, and your honesty can hurt those around you. Your soul mate must be as strong, loyal, and stable as you are. Woe betide the one who cheats on you, for you become aggressive and vindictive!

Lotus flower (7 July – 1 August)

The gorgeous lotus flower graces the saddest and most miserable landscapes, just as you manage to float with dignity above the meanness and injustice you encounter in life. You are a dreamy, sincere, pure-hearted being. You stand out from any crowd and move forward with your head held high even when everyone is against you. Nothing in life motivates you more than love, for which you fight to the death!

The Bridge (2 August – 27 August)

You’re one of the most mature and responsible people of the zodiac, and that’s why you’ve become accustomed to carrying other people’s problems on your shoulders. You are communicative, with a good sense of humor, and have many close friends. Emotionally, you are an incurable romantic. You fall in love easily, but sometimes confuse passion with love.

Garden stone (28 August – 10 October)

In Japanese culture, the stone is a symbol of strength and also a highly valued decorative element. Those around you admire you, appreciate you, and hold you up as a standard. Seemingly cold and aloof, your trust is hard won, but those close to you know they can rely on you in any situation. In love, you are characterized by seriousness and stability. Your dream is to find your soul mate and not to part with him or her until death.