The Heian Period of Japan is considered the Golden Age. It is also a great age of superstition, magic and mantic practices. Did you know that the number 4 is unlucky In the Japanese culture? At the time of Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai everyone believed that the ghosts of the dead, if not properly buried and prayed for, would haunt and even kill anyone who did not honor them.
The Chinese zodiac, adopted by the Japanese, which some of you may have seen on the placemats in Chinese restaurants, includes these animals: rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar. Combine these twelve animals with the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), plus yin and yang, and there is a 60-year cycle.
The combination of twelve animals and ten conditions (5 elements x 2-yin and yang) make a 60-year-cycle. It was said that a girl born in a certain year would kill her husband. All Japanese know that it is merely a superstition, though, 1966, the last time this certain year came up, had the smallest birth rate.