The Japanese Zodiac and How it Relates to Feminism in Japan
The Fire Horse Status A True Honor for Women in the 21st Century
2014 is the year of the Horse and actually for all of us ladies born between Jan. 1, 1966 and Feb. 1967, it really means a lot. The Chinese Zodiac is shared with Japan and Korea and every 60 years, a certain group of women come along known as the Hinoeuma or Fire Horse. The stigma against the Fire Horse Lady was strong enough to reduce the female birthrate in Japan in 1966 by 500,000 compared with the previous and following years. Most parents decided not to try and get pregnant, afraid a daughter born in this year would have a hard time finding a husband, staying with a husband or at least the husband lucky enough to get her, might not be able to survive. Well, all of that has changed now and the stigma is not nearly as strong. Japan needs strong women as much as ever and there is even a Hinoeuma Association in Japan now to help the Fire Horse Ladies stoke their flame and feel confident in their contribution. Fire horse women are the only ones on the planet at the moment so when you see a display of the Year of the Horse while you travel through Japan, give a silent cheer for all the Hinoeuma ladies who thrive, strive and achieve great things for Japan and the world.
Former Deep Japan Writer