SYMBOLSWhen thinking about Kyou's beaded bracelet, I think about the Yin and Yang symbol because of the black and white mixture. It emphasizes that you need two halves to make a whole, represented by the colors white and black. White represents enlightenment, while black symbolizes its direct opposite or delusion. Ancient Chinese philosophers used these colors to acknowledge that the world is in a constant state of motion; everything is constantly changing, nothing stays the same. The one thing that is the same is that we move through a distinctive framework, or cycle, that each has an opposite and equal value. Examples of these are day and night, cold and hot, birth and death, sun and moon. In order to create a whole, opposites and equals must exist together. An example of this would be that we have to have day ---> night ---> day ---> night. Basically, black and white are the two colors that often represent dualism. In short, dualism is the division of something conceptually into two opposed or contrasted aspects, or the state of being so divided.
Another thing to point out about Kyou's bracelet is the fact that it was made out of human bones. Bones in general were one of the first ornamental objects that humans used early on, though most were from animals. People believed that bones had a lot to do with ritual and magic, allowing the wearer of the object to possess the powers, and influence, of the bone-giver. Human bones are also used in magical rituals as a fetish or ritual to house the spirit of the dead person. We often see this practiced in Africa or Asia in ancestor worship rituals. Because this bracelet was passed down from Kazuma's grandfather to Kyou, I believe that there is a type of ancestor worship, or a ritual, going on here. Wearers of this bracelet are able to keep their "true form" from appearing, protecting them to persecution in their every-day lives. Tohru mentions that a lot of people must have scarified themselves for the wearer of the bracelet, and therefore it is very sacred.
Kyou is associated with the color orange; he has orange hair, he is an orange cat. Orange relates to the gut-reaction, as opposed to the physical reaction of red or the mental reaction of yellow. Orange offers emotional strength through difficult times, allowing us to bounce back from despair or disappointments. The following are the key-characteristics about the color orange:
- adventure and risk-takingOrange is thought to be one of the most under-appreciated and rejected colors of our time. Because it is a mixture of red and yellow, the color may have contradictions to it. Therefore, a person who wears orange, or relates to orange well, may have contradictions in their attitudes towards life. There are variations in the color orange, and the following best describe Kyou:
- inspiring physical confidence
- competition and independence
- stimulating to the appetite
- aids in the assimilation of new ideas
- frees the spirit of its limitations (allows us to be ourselves)
Peach: Peach encourages great communication and conversation. It inspires good manners and puts people at ease. It has all the attributes of orange but in a much softer, gentler and more cautious form.
Golden Orange: This version of orange encourages vitality and self-control.
Amber: Amber helps to inspire greater confidence and better self esteem. It can promote a degree of arrogance.
Burnt Orange: This color emits a negative vibration indicating pride, tension and aggressive self-assertion.
Dark Orange: Dark orange indicates over-confidence and over-ambition. It tries too hard to prove its worth and to boost its self-esteem, but when it fails, which is often, it develops a chip on its shoulder. It is the color of the opportunist, taking selfish advantage of every situation.
So, we already are aware that Kyou is the symbol of a cat! He hates the rain, he is slow and tired on cloudy days, and he can have a crowd of cats all around him at any moment! When Kyou gets annoyed, we often see a small set of cat ears appear on the top of his head. So, what are the symbolic meanings of cats? Below is a small list of words that describe what cats mean in many regions of the world, followed by a short description of the cat symbolism. We first see recordings of these in Celtic Spirit Animal Guides:
- AstuteCats are seen as resourceful, giving us messages of change, flexibility, and adaptability. When cats make a mysterious encounter in our lives, it means that we should shake things up and get a fresh change in our lives. They also teach us that sometimes the best thing we can do in life is stay away from toxic people, or rid our lives of them. Cats can display very strange behavior and antics, making them synonymous with creativity and psychic power (in the Tarot Cards, we see the cat in the Queen of Wands card). The main reason I think Kyou was the year of the cat is because of the following: "The cat reminds us to not fall prey to false beliefs, to not be a fool out of ignorance and derive understanding from our own internal wisdom. The cat beckons us to realize that when we turn within to our own hearts, minds and souls, and trust in ourselves we will always be shown the truth of matters." This is the lesson that Kyou has to find before he is able to find true happiness in his life. Once he embraces the true symbolism of the cat, he is able to live a happy life from within.
The number thirteen is extremely symbolic to Kyou and Fruits Basket in general. Thirteen in the language of the Tarot is Death, which is symbolic of transition, change, and inevitability. Death is not always a bad thing, it can just represent a major conclusion in our life. It usually represents that an ending of a situation that was dragging on way too long is coming with a sharp conclusion. This brings us back to the white and black beads, or the yin and yang, that with an end their is always a new beginning. Death is never the end, it is simply a motion in a new direction. It is also ironic that in the new story of the banquet that Akito creates, the cat dies first out of the rest of the other 12 animals. God brings the cat back to life with a new promise, that no matter what, all of them will stay friends and live together in bliss until the end of time. This promise acknowledges that they will die and be reborn many times, but they will always have that friendship-bond that will keep them together over time. Basically, the cat becoming the thirteenth zodiac animal represents that you can't fear change. You have to embrace and accept it. This number shows the final step in Kyou's acceptance and self-love. When he is finally accepted for who he is into the zodiac family with God by his side.