Japanese astrology is closely related to Chinese astrology, from which Tibetan astrology also originates in part.
Japanese astrology is based on the interaction between the ten Kan (the five Elements Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water in their double male and female guise) and the 12 Si (the cycle of the Animals or Branches of the Earth: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Boar). The combination of the twelve Branches and the five Elements gives rise to the Kuri-Yao or 60-year cycle. Each animal returns five times associated from time to time to a different Element. For example, the years 1960 and 2020 are Rat-Metal-Male: those born with this combination are said to be lively speaking, intensely emotional, lovers of money, luxury, and classics, with dominant tendencies, etc. To this are added the Animals and the Elements associated with the month, day, and time of birth to get a more precise picture of the individual or of the actions to be performed at certain times.
The 24 fauwi, or wind rose, completes this common structure. Each of these cardinal points is the abode of a deity, a demon, a planet, or a constellation, and is associated with specific particular years; this gives indications to the native, in the annual forecasts, on how to behave on certain occasions, what to do or not to do, etc.
Another method uses trigrams: add up the years, months, days, and hours of a person’s life, divided by eight as long as possible to get a prediction from the trigram associated with the residual number.
In both Chinese and Japanese astrology, one should not underestimate the importance given to the calendar as a tool for ordering earthly activities according to the heavenly will: auspicious and inauspicious days, sowing, weddings, names, propitious moments for the purchase of a dress; even apparently minute things according to this philosophy must respect the harmony between Heaven and Earth.
Astrologia Giapponese, estratti da l’Atsume Gusa (Japanese Astrology, excerpts from Atsume Gusa) – Translated by A. Severini – Genoa 1981.