Numbers in Japanese are different from Western languages. Each Japanese number has its own Kanji symbol and different pronunciations based on situation and usage.
Learning numbers in Japanese is important for many situations in everyday life, including:
Ask for phone numbers
Ask for an address
Today we learn the numbers in Japanese from 1 to 10. For each number we are going to see its respective Kanji, its pronunciations, and its characteristics in different situations.
The number 1 in Japanese ・ 一
The number 1 in Japanese is 一, which is read as
As you can see, the number 1 is represented by a single horizontal line. For this reason, this Kanji is one of the easiest to remember.
The number 1 in Japanese is used in many words to mean
the best /
the number one, such as:
The number 2 in Japanese ・ 二
The number 2 in Japanese is 二, which is read as
This Kanji adds a horizontal line to the kanji of 1. Two horizontal lines thus indicate the number 2, which also makes this kanji easy to memorize.
Like the number 1 in Japanese, 2 is also used to mean
two things /
twice, such as:
the number two
the first and second
The number 3 in Japanese ・ 三
The number 3 in Japanese is 三, which is read as
As for the kanji of 1 and 2, also for the number 3 in Japanese the kanji is simple, consisting of three horizontal lines.
As with 1 and 2, the kanji of the number 3 is also used to mean
three things. Some examples are:
the number three
two or three
The number 4 in Japanese ・ 四
The number 4 in Japanese is 四, which is read as
This kanji is different than the 1, 2 and 3 kanji. However, this kanji is also pretty easy to remember.
Let's also see some examples of use for the number 4 in Japanese:
The number 5 in Japanese ・ 五
The number 5 in Japanese is 五, which is read as
This kanji is also simple and different from the series of kanji 1, 2 and 3.
The kanji of the number 5 in Japanese indicates everything that is composed of 5 parts (such as the 5 senses), and it can also indicate
the 5 senses
the 5 elements
The number 6 in Japanese ・ 六
The number 6 in Japanese is 六, which is read as
The kanji of the number 6 in Japanese is composed of the radicals:
This kanji also consists of a few strokes and is easy to memorize.
As for the number 5, the number 6 is also linked to different symbolisms:
six kanji writing styles
six kingdoms(Deva realm, Asura realm, Human realm, Animal realm, Hungry Ghost realm, Naraka realm)
The number 7 in Japanese ・ 七
The number 7 in Japanese is 七, which is read as
This kanji is made up of two simple strokes. The kanji of the number 7 is itself a radical for many other kanji (such as 切
cut, composed of 七
seven and 刀
The number 7 in Japanese is also used in several interesting words:
seven spring flowers
The number 8 in Japanese ・八
The number 8 in Japanese is 八, which is read as
As with the 7's kanji, the 8's kanji is also made up of two strokes.
Let's see some words that use the kanji of the number 8 in Japanese:
8 feudal districts
the eight consciences
The number 9 in Japanese ・ 九
The number 9 in Japanese is 九, which is read as
The kanji of the number 9 in Japanese has two traits, like the kanji of 8 and the kanji of 7.
There are some interesting terms for the 9's kanji in Japanese as well:
the nine-tailed fox
The number 10 in Japanese ・ 十
The number 10 in Japanese is 十, which is read as
The kanji of the number 10 in Japanese looks like a symbol of the sum (+ and 十). This kanji is also made up of two strokes.
Many Japanese words contain the kanji of the number 10, which is also the basis of many successive numbers:
teenage(between 10 and 19 years old)
The number 0 in Japanese ・ 零 (Extra)
The number 0 in Japanese is 零, which is read as
rei. We also use to write the number 0 with its counterpart in Katakana ゼロ
The kanji of 0 零 is much more complex than the kanji of the other numbers 1 to 10 in Japanese. The kanji 零 is made up of:
Also for the number 0 in Japanese we see some words that contain the kanji 零:
You now know all numbers 1 to 10 (plus 0) in Japanese. These numbers are the basis of all the larger numbers, which are formed by a combination of these kanji.
If you want to learn more about their use you can read the post on Japanese numbers and on numeric suffixes.
Thanks for reading.