By Sun Lee Chang
Northwest Asian Weekly
Each of the twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac has certain qualities for which they are known. From the strength and stubbornness of an Ox to the crafty nature of those born in the Year of the Rat, those born in the Year of the Goat (also called the Ram or Sheep) are often known for their creativity, thoughtfulness, and endurance. From power players in government and business to internationally known artists, here is a sampling of those who embody the range of qualities of those born in the Year of the Goat. It is no surprise that arts are well represented on this list, which includes more than its fair share of actors and writers.
Chow Yun-Fat – It is hard to believe that Chow Yun-Fat will be turning 60 this year in May! Born in 1955 in Hong Kong, he was immensely successful in Asia before his notable crossover success in U.S. films. American audiences probably know him best for his roles in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “The Replacement Killers,” but he has a whole host of other movies to his credit with an enduring appeal to moviegoers worldwide.
San Mao – Born in 1943 in Chongqing, China, San Mao traveled extensively, translating written works, teaching stints, and writing her own stories until her death in 1991 in Taipei, Taiwan. Her life was not without tragedy, with the untimely death of lovers in the mix. Her writings are popular both in mainland China and Taiwan.
Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi (also referred to as Cixi) – She just barely makes this list by her death in the early 1900’s. Born in obscurity in 1835, this woman rose to power and controlled Chinese government from 1861 (upon the death her son’s father, Xianfeng Emperor) to her death in 1908. A remarkable feat considering the status of women during this time and also the longevity of her influence and powers.
Ken Takakura – Born in 1931, Nakama, Fukuoka, Japan, and died in 2014, internationally known actor, famous for various roles in such films as “The Yakuza” and “Black Rain”.
Pearl Sinn – Korea American golfer, born in 1967 in Seoul, South Korea who moved to the U.S. in grade school. Sinn had a very successful amateur career as a golfer, and later turned professional and was on the LPGA tour from 1991 to 2005.
Li Keqiang – If you think those born in the Year of the Goat are only behind-the-scenes players, think again. Born in 1955, Li Keqiang is the current Premier of the People’s Republic of China.
Steve Jobs – Born 1955 and dying in 2011 of cancer, Steve Jobs had an undeniable and profound influence on the world as the co-founder of Apple, Inc. His legacy lives on in the spirit of innovation that he inspired as the head of that company.
Bill Gates – Born in 1955, Bills Gates became one of the wealthiest men in the world by co-founding Microsoft, which sells software in almost every country. He has since moved on to establish an equally impressive reputation as a philanthropist through his connection with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Xu Fan – Born in 1967 in Wuhan, Hubei, China. She is an actress best known for her role in the 2010 movie, “Aftershock.”
Zhang Ziyi – Born in 1979 in Beijing, China. This breathtakingly beautiful model and actress is best known for her role in the movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” (end)
Sun Lee Chang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.