In Chronology Koushin days occur six times yearly, and also occur on the Koushin year (the 57th year in the 60-year Zodiac cycle). Symbolically, on these days (year), special rites -- influenced greatly by Chinese Taoist rites involving three worms and nine parasites that inhabit the body, but now an entirely Buddhist ritual in Japan -- are performed to ward off evil influences, to protect against sickness and misfortune, and to cure illness. Etymologically Koushin is a combination of Kou the Chinese Zodiac stem associated with metal and the planet Venus, and SHIN, the ninth branch symbol of the Zodiac; also the character for monkey..

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