Table Speech


Outlook on the Year 2017 Read by Oriental Zodiac

February 1, 2017

Ms. Shouei Inoue
Calendar Writer


 Let me speculate this year 2017 interpreted by the oriental zodiac Kanshi-Kyusei-gaku. The lunisolar calendar was introduced into Japan from China in the 6th century and was used to formulate the Imperial Era. It set Imperial Year 1 (Kõki 1) around 660 B.C. when it was believed that the legendary first Emperor Jimmu had ascended the throne of Japan. This year 2017 makes the Imperial Year 2677.

 Kanshi has its origin in the Yin Dynasty (1600B.C.-1046B.C). The ten stems Jikkan and twelve branches Junishi carried different meaning and function and were used to measure and evaluate volume, indicate directions, count time as well as to tell fortunes and predict extraordinary natural phenomenon. Jikkan is the teaching of Heaven, based on a 10-day cycle, and is said to impact the climate and people’s mental status. Junishi is the teaching of Earth, based on a 12-day cycle, and is used to tell fortune about our agricultural and economic activities. Kyusei consists of the five elements of nature: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Kanshi-Kyusei-gaku combines Jikkan, Junishi, Kyusei and Eki to make in total 180 combinations. This is why we need to trace back 180 years in time to verify whether our history really repeats itself.

 Now, the year 2017 becomes “Hinoto-Tori:Ippaku-Suisei” by the oriental zodiac. Let me elaborate on its meaning and predict what can happen hereafter. The first letter “hinoto” symbolizes opposing axis or collision between old and new ideas. I foresee an enormous energy generated by making a revolutionary breakthrough towards creating a new order. .

 The second letter “tori” constitutes the tenth branch of the Junishi. It points to the direction of west, hours between 5:00pm and 7:00pm and the season autumn (September) when plants and crops become ripe. The hieroglyphic letter “tori” means sake vessels and symbolizes “maturation” and “fermentation.” While there are some worrying signs, I hope this year brings positive political and economic results. I also predict the years 2017 and 2018 to fall in the cycle when something new emerges, including new value sets that could break new ground and go against conventional wisdom. We all know the folklore Momo-Taro (Peach Boy), who was accompanied by a monkey, a pheasant and a dog to fight the evil ogres. I think it is no coincidence that last year (Year of the Monkey), this year (Year of the Rooster) and next year (Year of the Dog) are predicted to be the three-year-period when we try to drive away the evil spirits.

 The letters “ippaku-suisei” have the element of water which flows from the upper to the lower place and moistens all creation. Water can be both beneficial and destructive, as blessed rain in excessive quantity can cause flooding. Water comes in three different forms, liquid, solid and vapor, and symbolizes deconstruction and disarrangement that could lead to create something new, just as the letter “tori” symbolizes. Water is also flexible and conforms to the shape of its container. The flow of water represents the “flow of people, money and information.” I predict the year 2017 to reverse the outward flow of resources that has accompanied the rise of globalization and we strive to stimulate domestic demand. We need to get back to the basics and look through where our country is heading towards. Each one of us must also contemplate on where to direct our ki (vital energy) towards and how to lead a meaningful life.

 We can learn many lessons from looking back on the years with the same Kanshi-Kyusei pattern. In 1837, exactly 180 years ago, Oshio Heihachiro staged an uprising in Osaka. The three-year cycles of “monkey, rooster and dog” with the same zodiac combination have witnessed changes of emperors and shoguns. Also major incidents and events, including atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Lockheed bribery scandals and the collapse of the bubble economy all took place during this three-year-cycle. I hope you will keep it in mind.

 2017 is the Year of the Rooster and Ippaku, which have the tendency to undergo political reshuffle and reform. We are also likely to witness exposure of cover-ups and secrets, especially related to education and medical care. We may have to reconsider the value of customs and habitual practices handed down over many years as we enter a new era of maturity and heterogeneous mixture. We may suffer from natural disasters and extreme weather events just like any other year. The key phrases to survive this year would be “resistive force” and “full maturity.” We must take positive actions to be the first one to reap the harvest, rather than waiting passively for a fruit to ripen and fall from the tree. I hope you will deepen your understanding on your own zodiac sign so that you will better foresee the fortune for the year ahead.