2023 Year of the Rabbit

The netsuke chosen to represent 2023 are two magnificently carved lunar rabbits one in boxwood the other in ivory, seated with all four legs gathered together under it, both with enormous long ears, the wood rabbit’s eyes inlaid in reddish horn, the ivory ones in 2 tones of coral, early 19th century, signed Toyomasa (Tamba-school).

The Chinese calendar -which existed there already since around 2000 BC- was adopted by Japan from around the 6th century AD, together with Buddhism. The Zodiac has an influence on the character of mankind. Each of the 12 ‘animals’ has specific characteristics. Persons born in the year of the Rabbit (usagi) are the most fortunate. They are smooth talkers, talented, ambitious, virtuous and reserved. They have exceedingly fine taste and are regarded with admiration and trust.
During the last century, years of the Rabbit were in 1935, 1947, 1959, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 and 2009. In each 60 year cycle, the 12 zodiac animals are repeated 5 times, representing 5 elements Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.

Of course it is not that simple; 60 is merely the most common denominator of 10 x 12, the ten being the 5 elements but in order to make it ten, the Japanese have adopted a big (elder) brother and small (younger) brother of each of the five stated elements. In all eastern languages, big brother and younger brother is one noun each, and not formed by a noun (brother) plus an adjective (younger or bigger [elder]) like in western languages. Actually, the year of the Rabbit starts on January 22nd, 2023 (Chinese New Year), and is ending on February 9th, 2024.

As the 4th animal in the Eastern zodiac, the Rabbit indicates the hours between 7 am and 9 am.

The entire Bosshard clan wishes you a wonderful 2022/23 Holiday Season with lots of fun, happiness, good health and some great relaxation or even a vacation with friends and family, leading into a beautiful spring and great summer season, too.

By the way, if you would like to read the contents of all the pages in smaller or bigger characters, it is very simple: go to View, Text size and choose your preferred size. That is all it takes – try it!

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