Know Your Picture Characters Entry #40

January 24th, 2011 by Wordsman

A. 神無月 B. 霜月 C. 師走 D. 長月 E. 葉月 F. 文月

Not a lot of responses this week.  I guess nobody gets excited about calendars anymore.  That is, assuming that people ever got excited about calendars in the first place.

Theoman, on his first guess, was right about a part and wrong about the whole.  The first character in E means “leaf.”  Unfortunately, the month that’s associated with leaves is not one where they’re on the trees but the one when they come off.  E, hazuki, is the 8th month (remember, they used to be later in the year).  On the other hand, whether it was due to his vague memories or his sharp ones, his backup guess was correct.  C, shiwasu, is the last month of the year.  The characters represent a Running of the Priests, as it were, referring to the frantic activity of holy folk trying to get everything done before the end of the year.  Nowadays, of course, things are completely different; nowadays it’s not just priests.

Shirley’s “one lonely fellow” in F is actually a character representing writing, and this is therefore fumizuki, the “book month,” number seven on the year.  And, as we already know, no matter how busy A is, it is not December.  This is the 10th month kannazuki.  Similar to the 6th month that we went over last time, depending on how you interpret the middle character this is either the gods’ month or the month without gods.  As for the rest, B, the frost month, falls appropriately enough in November, and D, the long month, is September.  That one’s never felt particularly long to me, but maybe in the old days it was longer.

Now, there’s been a lot of talk lately about zodiac signs shifting and what-not.  Whether or not you agree with any of it, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at the signs in Japanese.  So pick out your old sign, or your new one, or the one that you think fits you the best even though it has nothing to do with when you were born.  (And don’t look for that poser, Ophiuchus.  He’s not in here.)

A. 巨蟹宮 B. 金牛宮 C. 獅子宮 D. 処女宮 E. 人馬宮 F. 双魚宮

G. 双児宮 H. 天蠍宮 I. 天秤宮 J. 白羊宮 K. 宝瓶宮 L. 磨羯宮

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. A Fan Says:

    In an amazing cross-cultural coincidence, the initials you used are the same:

    A = Aries
    C = Cancer (my former sign)
    G = Gemini (my new sign)
    L = Leo

    There are other amazing coincidences governing the remianing signs, but I don’t want to show off too much by revealing them all.

  2. TheomanZero Says:

    I’m pretty sure D is Virgo, but I’d rather pick a sign that relates to me — either my old sign Taurus, or my new sign Aries.
    So I’ll say that J is Aries because I recognize the character for white, which is what color rams are.

  3. Dragon Says:

    I’m going to say that F is my old sign, Scorpio, because it kinda looks like the first character is chasing the second character and it is probably in your best interest to run from a scorpion if it is chasing you. And B is my new sign, Libra, because the first character of B is the one I found easiest to pretend looks like a scale.

  4. Shirley Says:

    I admit I looked up my signs because I didn’t even know my old one. When I looked it up, I sort of remembered one or more of my sons agreeing that crab was appropriate. That was unkind, unfair and inappropriate. I recall that I was sweet tempered, reasonable and patient to a fault.
    My new one is Gemini, the twins, which also is inappropriate because I immediately think of split personalities and I really can’t think I am schizophrenic. This may have nothing to do with the Japanese kanji, of course. Or the Zodiac, for that matter
    So, based on nothing much, here are my guesses:

    Crab – that first character in A could be claws, like a crab and the kanji has a rather irritable look about it.

    F could start with twin brothers, as could G, but the next character in F looks more important than the one in G, and the Gemini were an important family in ancient Rome. So, F.

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