Counting in Japanese (2024)


  • 1 0 to 9999
    • 1.1 Basic Numbers
      • 1.1.1 The Numbers Which Have Two Reading
    • 1.2 Formation of Numbers More Than 10
      • 1.2.1 Multiples of 10, 100 and 1000
      • 1.2.2 Combination of Numbers
  • 2 10,000 and More
    • 2.1 Multiples of Man, Oku and Chō
    • 2.2 Combination of Numbers

0 to 9999[]

Basic Numbers[]

1ichiイチhito(tsu)ひと, ひとつwanワン
2nifuta(tsu)ふた, ふたつtsūツー
3sanサンmi(ttsu)み, みっつsurīスリー
4shiyon, yottsuよん, よっつフォー
5goitsu(tsu)いつ, いつつfaibuファイブ
6rokuロクmu(ttsu), mūむ, むっつ, むうshikkusuシックス
7shichiシチnana(tsu)なな, ななつsebunセブン
8hachiハチya(ttsu)や, やっつeitoエイト
9ku, kyūク, キュウkokono(tsu)ここの, ここのつnainナイン

The Numbers Which Have Two Reading[]

0 is commonly called zero (ゼロ). But the formal reading rei (れい/零) is used in decimal fractions, temperature and the name of hours:

  • 0.01: rei ten rei ichi (れいてんれいいち/零点零一)
  • 0°C: reido (れいど/零度)
  • 12 o'clock: reiji (れいじ/零時)

4 and 7 are read as yon and nana respectively. The alternate readings shi and shichi are used in month names and fixed phrases, and when you count up:

  • April and July: shigatsu (しがつ, 4th month) and shichigatsu (しちがつ, 7th month)
  • Counting up to 10, you say ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, shichi, hachi, kyū, .

Shichi is also used in the name of hours:

  • 7 o'clock: shichiji (しちじ)

9 is commonly read as kyū. The alternate reading ku is used in the name of months and hours:

  • September: kugatsu (くがつ, 9th month)
  • 9 o'clock: kuji (くじ)

Formation of Numbers More Than 10[]

Multiples of 10, 100 and 1000[]

The Multiples of 10, 100 and 1000 are formed with number from 2 to 9 and -, -hyaku and -sen.

10 - nijūsanjūyonjū
  • Ichi- is not attached to -, -hyaku and -sen when you say 10, 100 and 1000. They are just , hyaku and sen.
  • A phenomenon called sokuonbin (促音便) and rendaku (連濁) occurs in 300, 600, 800, 3000 and 8000. It changes the final kana of roku (ろく) and hachi (はち) to the following consonants, and "h" of -hyaku and "s" of -sen to "b/p" and "z".

Combination of Numbers[]

In large numbers, elements are combined from largest to smallest.

Numbers from 11 to 19, 21 to 29, ... and 91 to 99 are formed with mutiples of 10 and number from 1 to 9: e.g. 14 is jū yon (10+4), 23 is nijū san (20+3) and 57 is gojū nana (50+7).

Numbers from 101 to 199, 201 to 299, ... and 901 to 999 are formed with muptiple of 100 and number from 1 to 99: e.g. 104 is hyaku yon (100+4), 235 is nihyaku sanjū go (200+30+5) and 867 is happyaku rokujū nana (800+60+7).

Numbers from 1001 to 1999, 2001 to 2999, ... and 9001 to 9999 are formed with multiples of 1000 and number from 1 to 999: e.g. 1051 is sen gojū ichi (1000+50+1), 3006 is sanzen roku (3000+6) and 9999 is kyūsen kyūhyaku kyūjū kyū (9000+900+90+9).

10,000 and More[]

Following Chinese tradition, large numbers are grouped by 10,000.

10,000man (まん/万)oku (おく/億)chō (ちょう/兆)

Multiples of Man, Oku and Chō[]

The Multiples of man, oku and chō are formed with number from 1 to 9999 and -man, -oku and -chō.

10,000jū ichiman...kyūjū kyūmanhyakuman





...kyūjū kyūokuhyakuokuhyaku ichioku...
1,000,000,000,000itchō...kyūjū kyūchōhyakuchōhyaku itchō...
10,000kyūhyaku kyūjū kyūmanissenmanissen ichiman...kyūsen kyūhyaku kyūjū kyūman
100,000,000kyūhyaku kyūjū kyūokuissen'okuissen ichioku...kyūsen kyūhyaku kyūjū kyūoku
1,000,000,000,000kyūhyaku kyūjū kyūchōissenchōissen itchō...kyūsen kyūhyaku kyūjū kyūchō
  • Sokuonbin (促音便) phenomenon occurs in 1,000,000,000,000, 8,000,000,000,000 and 10,000,000,000,000. It changes the final kana of ichi (いち), hachi (はち) and (じゅう) to "t".
  • Ichi- is attached to -sen multiplying man, oku and chō. In this case, ichi- and -sen are combined into issen because of sokuonbin phenomenon.

Combination of Numbers[]

In numbers more than 10,000, elements are combined from largest to smallest as well as numbers less than 10,000.

Numbers from 10,001 to 99,999,999 are formed with mutiples of man and number from 1 to 9999: e.g. 10,001 is ichiman ichi (1×man+1) and 23,405 is niman sanzen yonhyaku go (2×man+3405).

Numbers from 100,000,001 to 999,999,999,999 are formed with muptiple of oku and number from 1 to 99,999,999: e.g. 34,215,506,879 is sanbyaku yonjū nioku issen gohyaku gojūman rokusen happyaku nanajū kyū (342×oku+1550×man+6879).

Numbers from 1,000,000,000,001 to 9,999,999,999,999,999 are formed with multiples of chō and number from 1 to 999,999,999,999: e.g. 519,211,500,000,000 is gohyaku jū kyūchō nisen hyaku jū go'oku (519×chō+2115×oku).

Counting in Japanese (2024)


How do you count to 10 in Japanese? ›

Here is how you count from 1 to 10 in Japanese:
  1. 1 = ichi(一). Say “ee-CHEE”
  2. 2 = ni(二). Say “nee”
  3. 3 = san(三). Say “sahn”
  4. 4 = shi/yon(四). Say “shee” or “yohn”
  5. 5 = go(五). Say “go”
  6. 6 = roku(六). Say “roh-KOO”
  7. 7 = nana/shichi(七). Say “NAH-nah” or “shee-CHEE”
  8. 8 = hachi(八). Say “hah-CHEE”
Aug 2, 2017

How do you say 1 2 3 4 5 in Japanese? ›

When counting up (0 to 10)
  1. いち (ichi)
  2. に (ni)
  3. さん (san)
  4. し (shi)
  5. ご (go)
  6. ろく (roku)
  7. しち (shichi)
  8. はち (hachi)
May 28, 2022

Is 4 in Japanese Yon or Shi? ›

The number four (4) is called either “yon” or “shi” in Japanese. In the case of four you can say any of those. But for other words, like “death” (死)that is also pronounced “shi”, you can't change it for “yon”. In other words, “shi” and “yon” are both words that represents the number four.

Is 7 Nana or Shichi? ›

Japanese numbers: 1 to 10
しち / ななsevenshichi / nana
きゅう/くninekyu / ku
6 more rows

How do you count from 1 to 9 in Japanese? ›

Lesson 3: Numbers (1-10)
  • 一 ichi. one.
  • 二 ni. two.
  • 三 san. three.
  • 四 shi (yon) four.
  • 五 go. five.
  • 六 roku. six.
  • 七 shichi. seven.
  • 八 hachi. eight.

Is it Shichi or Nana? ›

As noted above, yon (4) and nana (7) are preferred to shi and shichi. It is purported that this is because shi is also the reading of the word death (死), which makes it an unlucky reading (see tetraphobia); while shichi may sound too similar to ichi (1), shi or hachi (8).

How to learn Japanese counting? ›

Learn Japanese Numbers and How to Count in Japan
  1. 零 (rei) = 0.
  2. 一 (ichi) = 1.
  3. 二 (ni) = 2.
  4. 三 (san) = 3.
  5. 四 (yon / shi) 4.
  6. 五 (go) 5.
  7. 六 (roku) 6.
  8. 七 (shichi ou nana) 7.
Apr 22, 2020

How do you say 23 in Japan? ›

That's how you say 23 in Japanese.

Why is 4 not used in Japan? ›

Traditionally, 4 is unlucky because it is sometimes pronounced shi, which is the word for death. Sometimes levels or rooms with 4 do not exist in hospitals or hotels. Particularly in the maternity section of a hospital, the room number 43 is avoided because it can literally mean "stillbirth".

Why are there 2 ways to say 4 in Japanese? ›

There are two ways to say numbers. A big simplification is that the native Japanese system is used to count to ten and the Chinese system used to count higher. It's true that 'shi', or four in the Chinese system, is avoided because of superstition because it sounds identical to the word for death.

How do you say 1 2 3 4 in Japanese? ›

One (1) is ひとつ (hitotsu, pronounced "hee-toh-tsoo"). Two (2) is ふたつ (futatsu, pronounced "foo-tah-tsoo"). Three (3) is みっつ (mittsu, pronounced "mee-tsoo." Pause a beat between the two syllables). Four (4) is よっつ (yottsu, pronounced "yoh-tsoo").

What does Ichi ni san chi mean? ›

Its the counting system in Japanese , ichi is one, ni is two and san is three in the Japanese counting system.

Is it Ichi or Hitotsu? ›

The ichi-system is used with number counters. The hitotsu-system is used independently without number counters (ex. 1-en, 1-mai, 1-dai). The hitotsu-system goes as far as 10 and cannot be use for people, time and money.

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