2020 is Year of the Rat
Japan, like most of Asia has embraced the Chinese zodiac and has made it their own. From when it was introduced in the 6th century, it has become part of Japanese culture. Most Japanese people will know which of the twelve zodiac animals represents their birth year. The Rat ("nezumi") is yang and represents a new day, being the first of the Zodiac animals.
Japanese Zodiac says that the rat is the first of the zodiac animals because
"Once upon a time, on a day near the end of the year, God told all the animals: “You must come to see me for New Year’s greeting on the morning of the New Year. I will make the first twelve the champions of all the animals for the following twelve years.”
Apparently the ox walked in first, but the rat snuck onto his back and entered ahead of the rest. Cheeky!
According to Thoughtco.com these are the qualities of those born in year of the Rat.
"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."
Born 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912.
You may have noticed that the image of the Rat seems to have softened into the cuter and appealing 'mouse' character.
At nugoo, we have used the mouse in many of our new year designs for 2020 - he is playful, clever and a lot of fun to use as a character when illustrating.
Enjoy our interpretation of nezumi in our Year of the Rat collection.