From Abe no Seimei to Naruto

And everything in between


Literally: shadow / yin – sunlight / yang – five – go

Alternately: The dual principles of yin and yang, and the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), that supposedly form and regulate the world we live in. The building blocks of East Asian cosmology.

Notes: Reportedly imported from China some time in the 6th century CE, this concept – also known as 陰陽五行説, where 説 (setsu) is something like “theory” – flourished in the Heian court and continues to exert influence in Japanese culture even to the present day, when it has been officially declared a mere superstition.

The 陰陽 in this phrase may also be pronounced on’you or onmyou without any change in meaning. However, pronouncing 行 as kou or gou is considered an error


This is a relatively simple chart that, for example, barely hints at the ten-sign calendar cycle known as the Heavenly Stems (十干 = jikkan) or the way it was combined with the twelve zodiac signs to create a generation-defining 60-year cycle.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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1 Response to From Abe no Seimei to Naruto

  1. Pingback: Too hot for a cold reading | landofnudotcom

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