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六十干支 (60 Kanshi)

"六十干支" (60 Kanshi) or "十干十二支" (10 Kan 12 Shi) are combinations of "十干" (10 Kan: Kou, Otsu, Hei, Tei, Bo, Ki, Kou, Shin, Jin, Ki) and "十二支" (12 Shi: Ne, Ushi, Tora, U, Tatsu, Mi, Uma, Hitsuji, Saru, Tori, Inu, I). 60 Kanshi, originally came from China, are useful for counting long terms, like days or years.

10 Kan

10 Kan has some influence from "陰陽五行説" (the principles of Yin and Yang). "甲" means "木の兄" (Kinoe, big brother of tree), "乙" means "木の弟" (Kinoto, little brother of tree), "丙" means "火の兄" (Hinoe, big brother of fire), "丁" means "火の弟" (Hinoto, little brother of fire), "戊" means "土の兄" (Tsuchinoe, big brother of soil), "己" means "土の弟" (Tsuchinoto, little brother of soil), "庚" means "金の兄" (Kanoe, big brother of gold), "辛" means "金の弟" (Kanoto, little brother of gold), "壬" means "水の兄" (Mizunoe, big brother of water), "癸" means "水の弟" (Mizunoto, little brother of water).

12 Shi

12 Shi are used for counting months, hours, direction in the old days. They were originally just 12 marks which express the order of 12 months and later became familiar by the connection with animals.

Tables of 60 Kanshi

This table shows the order of 60 Kanshi and its native Japanese and pseudo-Chinese reading. Usually "no" is inserted between little brother character and 12 Shi.

60 Kanshi (1)

1甲子Kinoe NeKasshi, Kou Shi
2乙丑Kinoto no UshiIcchyu (Itsu Chuu)
3丙寅Hinoe ToraHei In
4丁卯Hinoto no UTei Bou
5戊辰Tsuchinoe TatsuBo Shin
6己巳Tsuchinoto no MiKi Shi
7庚午Kanoe UmaKou Go
8辛未Kanoto no HitsujiShin Bi
9壬申Mizunoe SaruJin Shin
10癸酉Mizunoto no ToriKi Yuu

60 Kanshi (2)

11甲戌Kinoe InuKou Jutsu
12乙亥Kinoto no IItsu Gai
13丙子Hinoe NeHei Shi
14丁丑Hinoto no UshiTei Chuu
15戊寅Tsuchinoe ToraBo In
16己卯Tsuchinoto no UKi Bou
17庚辰Kanoe TatsuKou Shin
18辛巳Kanoto no MiShin Shi
19壬午Mizunoe UmaJin Go
20癸未Mizunoto no HitsujiKi Bi

60 Kanshi (3)

21甲申Kinoe SaruKou Shin
22乙酉Kinoto no ToriItsu Yuu
23丙戌Hinoe InuHei Jutsu
24丁亥Hinoto no ITei Gai
25戊子Tsuchinoe NeBo Shi
26己丑Tsuchinoto no UshiKi Chuu
27庚寅Kanoe ToraKou In
28辛卯Kanoto no UShin Bou
29壬辰Mizunoe TatsuJin Shin
30癸巳Mizunoto no MiKi Shi

60 Kanshi (4)

31甲午Kinoe UmaKou Go
32乙未Kinoto no HitsujiItsu Bi
33丙申Hinoe SaruHei Shin
34丁酉Hinoto no ToriTei Yuu
35戊戌Tsuchinoe InuBo Jutsu
36己亥Tsuchinoto no IKi Gai
37庚子Kanoe NeKou Shi
38辛丑Kanoto no UshiShin Chuu
39壬寅Mizunoe ToraJin In
40癸卯Mizunoto no UKi Bou

60 Kanshi (5)

41甲辰Kinoe TatsuKou Shin
42乙巳Kinoto no MiItsu Shi
43丙午Hinoe UmaHei Go
44丁未Hinoto no HitsujiTei Bi
45戊申Tsuchinoe SaruBo Shin
46己酉Tsuchinoto no ToriKi Yuu
47庚戌Kanoe InuKou Jutsu
48辛亥Kanoto no IShin Gai
49壬子Mizunoe NeJin Shi
50癸丑Mizunoto no UshiKi Chuu

60 Kanshi (6)

51甲寅Kinoe ToraKou In
52乙卯Kinoto no UItsu Bou
53丙辰Hinoe TatsuHei Shin
54丁巳Hinoto no MiTei Shi
55戊午Tsuchinoe UmaBo Go
56己未Tsuchinoto no HitsujiKi Bi
57庚申Kanoe SaruKou Shin
58辛酉Kanoto no ToriShin Yuu
59壬戌Mizunoe InuJin Jutsu
60癸亥Mizunoto no IKi Gai

Combination of 60 Kanshi

As you can see above, there are 2 groups in 60 Kanshi. One is made up of "甲", "丙", "戊", "庚" and "壬" from 10 Kan and "子", "寅", "辰", "午", "申" and "戌" from 12 Shi, and the other is made up of "乙", "丁", "己", "辛" and "癸" from 10 Kan and "丑", "卯", "巳", "未", "酉" and "亥" from 12 Shi. Counting with 60 Kanshi starts with "甲子" and ends with "癸亥", and after that just goes back to "甲子" and repeats the same procedure again and again.


"還暦" (return of calendar) means 60 years old since 60 years old person completes all combinations of yearly Kanshi and returns to the same Kanshi for the year when he or she was born.