About the Japanese Zodiac
The zodiac was introduced to Japan from China and there are several tales of how the animals were selected and in what order. One of the most popular stories finds Buddha calling all the animals of the world to come to him on New Year’s Day. As a reward, he promises each one a gift. Only twelve animals came and each one was given the honor of having a year named for them. Their arrival time marks their esteemed position in the twelve-year cycle with the rat always first and the boar forever last.
This year, we’ll celebrate the Year of the Rat for those born in 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020!
What is Oshogatsu?
The New Year is Japan’s most important and celebrated holiday. We’ll ring in our 42nd annual New Year’s celebration with the tastes, sights and sounds that define the traditional Japanese New Year as well as our own.