This is the first blog in 2014.

We introduce "Eto(干支)" on our blog this year.


What is "Eto"?

"Eto" is "Oriental Zodiac" which is the sixty period numeric, consists of the "Ten Celestial Stems(十干)" and the "Twelve Horary Signs(十二支)".

This is used for expressing an order of a calendar, time and a direction.


In Yin() Era, it was believed that there were ten suns and each sun climbed up and down in order, so a round was made of ten days.

甲乙丙丁戊己庚辛壬癸: These ten Kanji Characters were the names of the ten suns.


On the other hand, the "Twelve Horary Signs" is the ordinal names of a set of twelve years.

子丑寅卯辰巳午未申酉戌亥: These twelve Kanji Characters were the names of the twelve years.


These twelve types are associated with a different animals; rat(mouse), ox(bull), tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram(sheep), monkey, cockerel(rooster), dog, pig(boar).


In Japan, Eto is often used as the "Twelve Horary Signs(十二支)" to mean the year.

This year, it's the year of the horse "午" which is the middle of the "Twelve Horary Signs(十二支)" .


A horse which is pronounced "Uma" in Japanese is known as a lucky charm that brings lots of happiness come. "Umaku Iku" in Japanese means "go well".

Also, horse is a symbol of success in life because a new born foal stands firmly on the ground in one hour after birth and run around in three hours.

How do you think this year will be?

Enjoy the year of the horse.