Languages › Japanese The Twelve Signs of the Japanese Zodiac Does your Zodiac sign fit your personality? Share Flipboard Email Print ThoughtCo / Nusha Ashjaee Japanese History & Culture Essential Japanese Vocabulary Japanese Grammar By Namiko Abe Japanese Language Expert B.A., Kwansei Gakuin University Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. our editorial process Namiko Abe Updated October 16, 2019 The Japanese zodiac (Juunishi) is divided into 12 blocks with each block containing a group of years. The years in each block are 12 years apart from the previous or following year (in that block only). Each block is given a name of an animal based on the ancient Chinese concept that all time shifts are based on these twelve units. In Japan, the adoption of the twelve-year cycle, with a different animal representing each block, is fairly common. Those individuals born during a particular year were said to inherit some of the personalities of that year's animal. Have a look below to see what year and animal you are. Rat (nezumi) Born 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912. People born in the year of the Rat are charming, honest, ambitious, and have a tremendous capacity for pursuing a course to its end. They will work hard for their goals. They are easily angered but maintain an outward show of control. Ox (ushi) Born 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913. People born in the year of the Ox are patient, mentally alert and when required to speak are skillful. They have a gift for inspiring confidence in others. This allows them to achieve a great deal of success. Tiger (tora) Born 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914. People born in the year of the Tiger are sensitive, stubborn, short-tempered, courageous, selfish and slightly mean ... yet they are deep thinkers and are capable of great sympathy for those they are close to and love. Rabbit (usagi) Born 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915. People born in the year of the Rabbit are the most fortunate. They are smooth talkers, talented, ambitious, virtuous and reserved. They have exceedingly fine taste and are regarded with admiration and trust. Dragon (tatsu) Born 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916. People born in the year of the Dragon are healthy, energetic, excitable, short-tempered and stubborn. However, they are honest, sensitive, brave and can inspire trust in most anyone. They are the most peculiar of the 12 signs of the Zodiac cycle. Snake (hebi) Born 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917. People born in the year of the Snake are deep thinkers, speak very little and possess tremendous wisdom. They are fortunate in money matters and will always be able to obtain it. They are determined in what they do and hate to fail. Horse (uma) Born 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906. People born in the year of the Horse are skillful in paying compliments and talk too much. They are skillful with money and handle finances well. They are quick thinkers, wise and talented. Horse people anger easily and are very impatient. Sheep (hitsuji) Born 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919, 1907. People born in the year of the Sheep are elegant, highly accomplished in the arts, passionate about nature. At first glance, they seem to be better off than the people born in other years. They are deeply religious and passionate in whatever they do and believe in. Monkey (saru) Born 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932, 1920, 1908. People born in the year of the Monkey are the erratic geniuses of the Zodiac cycle. They are clever and skillful in grand-scale operations and are smart when making financial deals. They are inventive, original and are able to solve the most difficult problems with ease. Rooster (tori) Born 2005, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921, 1909. People born in the year of the Rooster are deep thinkers and are always busy and devoted to their work. They always want to do more than they are able, and if they undertake a task beyond their abilities, they are disappointed. Rooster people have a habit of speaking out directly whenever they have something on their minds. Dog (inu) Born 2006, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922, 1910. People born in the year of the Dog have all the fine qualities of human nature. They have a sense of duty and loyalty, they are extremely honest and always do their best in their relationship with other people. Dog people inspire confidence in others and know how to keep secrets. Boar (inoshishi) Born 2007, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923, 1911. People born in the year of the Boar are brave. They have tremendous inner strength which no one can overcome. They display great honesty. They are short-tempered, yet hate to quarrel or have arguments. They are affectionate and kind to their loved ones.