Author Topic: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?  (Read 5264 times)

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Offline VirusChris

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Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« on: March 15, 2013, 02:49:37 PM »
The 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, do they have names associate with them or legends about each of these animals which they have names?

I'm a little curious as I want to write a little story about each of the Zodiac Animals but I don't see any names for them or know any good Chinese names that would fit for them, with the exception of Son Goku being the only Legendary Chinese Name for Animal of the Zodiac (namely the Monkey) so it's a little hard to find other fitting names for the rest of them when I lack Chinese Folklore and Culture knowledge.

So I'm wondering if anyone else knows if the 12 Zodiac Animals might have names or legends about each animal or possible befitting Chinese names for them. Anything?

I'm open to suggested names for them if that's alright.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2013, 02:54:17 PM »
I don't even recall Son Goku in the Zodiac.

Why not just use the species names? It's so much simpler.
The only folklore I know of is why the Zodiac animals are in their specific order, and some theories as to why the Cat isn't in it.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2013, 03:03:09 PM »
with the exception of Son Goku being the only Legendary Chinese Name for Animal of the Zodiac (namely the Monkey) so it's a little hard to find other fitting names for the rest of them when I lack Chinese Folklore and Culture knowledge.
You're kinda doing it wrong.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2013, 04:14:48 PM »
Oh brother... I'm looking for legendary animals names that corresponding to the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac to use in a short story I'm making.

For example Son Goku is a legendary figure from the story "Journey to the West" and is in fact a Monkey figure, as the Monkey King, so seeing as one of the Zodiac Animals is a Monkey I'm associating the Zodiac Monkey to be Son Goku as its name in my story.

And I'm not going with naming them after their species, that's just unoriginal, lazy, and hardly creative.


So is there anything like that with legendary animal figures in Chinese lore?

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2013, 04:21:14 PM »
But Son Goku is Japanese, Son Wukong is the original Chinese version.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2013, 04:26:53 PM »
But Son Goku is Japanese, Son Wukong is the original Chinese version.

Oh... I thought Son Goku is what he was called in Chinese.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 04:28:15 PM »
To add on, Sun Wukong is a STONE monkey, born from a STONE egg.

Yea. Monkeys from eggs.



Also, since you're going to associate Sun Wukong with Monkey, why not go Pigsy (Zu Wuneng) with Pig.

Posted on: March 15, 2013, 23:27:11
Oh... I thought Son Goku is what he was called in Chinese.
Ahem, Chinese here. >_>

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2013, 04:30:31 PM »
There's also the 4 beasts Genbu (Tortise), Byakko (Tiger), Seiryu (Dragon), and Suzaku (Bird).

However I don't know their Chinese names and you can only use maybe 3 of them if you want to make Suzaku represent the Rooster.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013, 04:35:00 PM »
Again, there isn't really any real Chinese names for the 4 "sovereigns".

They are simply called Black Tortoise, Azure Dragon, White Tiger, and Vermilion Bird (Phoenix).

Unless you want Xuanwu, Qinglong, Baihu and Zhuque respectively.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 04:36:37 PM »
Oh my bad, then again Chinese lore is not my specialty in the first place. :P

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 04:41:14 PM »
The ones you stated were Japanese lore, but it's around the same since kanji IS based off chinese characters.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 04:42:52 PM »
Yeah I realize that now.  It can be confusing sometimes, like the Goku/Wukong thing. -u-'

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 04:44:37 PM »
THE MORE YOU KNOW *~

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 04:51:56 PM »
You know it makes me think why they made Celestial Brush Gods in Okami based on the Chinese Zodiac in the first place.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 04:59:23 PM »
You know it makes me think why they made Celestial Brush Gods in Okami based on the Chinese Zodiac in the first place.

I don't even mind that. Wouldn't make the game any less masterful if it wasn't.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 05:02:57 PM »
I know and it doesn't, but I just find it weird when I think about it.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2013, 05:03:41 PM »
Common lores. :P

And the 12 is a funny story.
It was once said that the Celestial Courts ordered for a race, and the top 12 would be allowed entry into the Courts. At that time, Rat and Cat were the best of friends, and they agreed to wake each other up for the race so that both can enter the Courts. However, on the day of the race, Rat went back on his word, and hitched a ride on Ox. By the time Cat woke up, the race was already over, and she swore revenge on Rat.

Hence why cats chase after rats/mice.

As for the order of the 12, as mentioned, Rat hitched a ride on Ox's head, and on nearing the finishing line, Rat hoped off, and came in 1st, with Ox in 2nd and so on (Tiger 3rd, Rabbit 4th, Dragon 5th, Snake 6th, Horse 7th, Sheep 8th, Monkey 9th, Rooster 10th, Dog 11th, Pig 12th). As to why Dragon was fifth since he could fly, it was a race, hence all animals were running. On the ground. Dragon was not used to running with his legs, but managed to beat 7 others.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2013, 05:14:46 PM »
I find a Chinese Dragon running on the ground hilarious. XD

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2013, 05:20:13 PM »
Well, at least he still managed to beat 7 others, which includes the horse. 8D

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2013, 05:21:12 PM »
That is impressive.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2013, 06:48:51 PM »
I've been gone a while due to errands and I come back to see some interesting facts on the Zodiac animals. Thanks for the tip Dr. Wily II!

Ahem, Chinese here. >_>

Sorry, didn't mean to offend you. X(


Anyway I might as well as go with original names for them instead, I have a reason I'm not going with the 4 Sovereign names for them as I have those 4 (plus the 5th one, the Yellow Dragon of the Center) interact with them later, so here's what I got so far:

Monkey - Son Goku
Rabbit - Inaba of the Moon (yes, the entire thing is the Zodiac Rabbit's name)

I'm not sure what to call the other 10 animals and the reason the rabbit is called "Inaba of the Moon" is that in my story's legend this mystical rabbit once jumped to the moon from the earth and came back down.

On that subject, does anyone know what "Inaba" means in Japanese? I've been trying to but google brings up Reisen and Tewi from the Touhou Project series which is problematic because it doesn't mention the Inaba name meaning when I type in "what does inaba mean in japanese" and I've looked at other sources that mention the "White Hare of the Moon" and the word "Inaba" seems to be associate with rabbits/bunnies so I stuck with Inaba as its name.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2013, 04:06:21 AM »
You could always dump the word into Google Translate.  Well, the non-Romanized spelling of it.

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2013, 04:06:44 PM »
You could always dump the word into Google Translate.  Well, the non-Romanized spelling of it.

Doesn't seem to grant me what I really want for a name honestly and goes for a more direct or literally translation.

For the "Sheep" Zodiac Animal, and for the rest of the Zodiac Animals, I'm going for Japanese names for them and I want to find out how to say "whispering meadow" in Japanese for the Sheep's name.

I got this, "Sōgen no sasayaki (草原のささやき)", as the translation of it but I'm looking for how it fits as a name as oppose to a term or place. It would be great to find a way to write Japanese names for my Zodiac Animals for my story that means what I want that translate well in English.

Monkey: Son Goku
Rabbit: Inaba of the Moon
Tiger: ??? (Japanese name for: Carnage Den Arrows)
Sheep: ??? (Japanese name for: Whispering Meadow)
Horse: Longma (Placeholder name meaning "Dragon Horse" in Japanese)
Dog: Ookami
Snake: Hebikyōsō-zai (Thought of combining two Japanese words to one, Hebi = Snake and Kyōsō-zai = Tonic, so Snake Tonic)
Roster: ???
Ox: ???
Boar: ???
Rat: ???
Dragon: Kokushibyou (The Black Dragon of Death)

Still having some trouble for some of them, hmm...

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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2013, 04:16:09 PM »
I like to think Leo is actually named Fluffy.
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Re: Do the Zodiac Animal have names?
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2013, 06:19:32 PM »
Uh huh... any other suggestions?
I hope this is a good name for the Rat Zodiac Animal and for the rest of the Animals.

Monkey: Son Goku
Rabbit: Inaba of the Moon
Tiger: Daigyakusatsu
Sheep: Kusachi-teisei
Horse: Longma
Dog: Ookami or Inugami (What would Ookami-no-Inugami mean anyway?)
Snake: Hebikyōsō-zai or Bai Suzhen/Hakujoushi
Roster: Kaiden of the Sun
Ox: Ushioni
Boar: Waira
Rat: Tājunezubōrei
Dragon: Kokushibyou


Well... that's what I've came up with so far. Anything I need to update or change? I'm not so sure about Boar's name, but it was the closest to a beast name of one of Japan's mythical creatures of lore and for some reason there was nothing on pig, boar, or hog when I did a search for it.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 03:56:02 AM by VirusChris »

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