The 十二支 - the signs of the zodiac

, or Earthly Branches, were one of the early Chinese ways of measuring time. By observing the orbit of Jupiter through the heavens over the course of a year, early astronomers divided the heavens into twelve sections. The symbols were then used in various contexts for measurement or counting, including months of the year and navigation. Today, the Earthly Branches are combined with the Celestial Stems in Taoism. The 十二支 roughly correspond to the Western signs of the zodiac.
The kanji in the 十二支 are still used today to indicate numerals in documents etc (even though only four of the twelve are Jōyō kanji).
To see the zodiac collection, you must be a Registered User of Kanshudo. Registration is free, easy and fast! Please REGISTER now, or if you are already registered, click here to LOG IN.
For more information on the 十二支, see the Wikipedia entry ⇗.
Kanshudo is your AI Japanese tutor, and your constant companion on the road to mastery of the Japanese language. To get started learning Japanese, just follow the study recommendations on your Dashboard. You can use Quick search (accessible using the icon at the top of every page) to look up any Japanese word, kanji or grammar point, as well as to find anything on Kanshudo quickly. For an overview, take the tour.