NOTATION OF TIME.THE first systematic attempt at marking and recording time was in A.D. 602, when a Buddhist missionary front Corea, named Kuanroku, brought to Japan a Chinese almanac, and taught its use. From this time, the years, lunar months, and days are counted, and the years named after the characters in a cycle of sixty years, which is made up of one series of ten, and another series of twelve, characters. The cycle of ten series is called from "the five elements," Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, each of which is taken double, or masculine and feminine.
The cycle of twelve series is formed, according to the division of the zodiac, into twelve equal parts, to each of which the name of some Japanese animal is assigned. These are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Serpent, Horse, Goat, Ape, Cock, Dog, Hog.
By waking a square, in which twelve lines are drawn horizontally, and ten perpendicularly, we have one hundred and twenty squares, of which sixty are used. Place the ten-series at the top, and the twelve-series on the left side, and the numerals from 1 to 60 in diagonal lines in the spaces from left to right, and front top to bottom. Thus the cyclical name of the year 1711 (see page 288) is "water" - "dragon," or the ten-series name, "water" and the twelve-series name, "dragon." The first year, of the current cycle is 1864, and the cyclical name of 1877 is "fire"-"bull," the first belonging to the ten-series, and the second to the twelve-series cycle. (See diagram in Hoffman's "Grammar," page 156.) This method of reckoning time is still in use, among the Chinese, Coreans, and the Japanese Buddhist world and priesthood. All Japanese literature is full of' it, and it will be printed in the native almanacs for some years to come. As it is the offspring of Chinese philosophy, so the doctrines of in (female principle) and yo (male principle), feng-shuey ("air and water" - a system of gross Chinese superstition) are involved in it, and front its very nature it is the mother of superstitions innumerable. No severer blow has been dealt at priesteraft, necromancy, and the thousand forms of delusion, than the abolition of the lunar calendar, and no greater evidence of the desire of the rulers of Japan to break from Asiatic tramniels has been given than their adoption of the solar calendar. The measurement of apparent time in hours and minutes was, for centuries, by the clepsydra. The first is said to have been made by Tenchi Tennō when still a prince, and was re-mounted in 671 A.D. Time-keepers after, the European fashion were introduced from China during the time of Talkō. In ordinary Japanese clocks the dial is perpendicular, and the hour and minute hand, being one, descends, while seconds are beaten by an escapement, and shown on a small round dial at the top. At present, many thousand New England clocks and foreign watches are in use, and even the common people are learning the meaning of a "second" of time.