Japanese Numbers: How to Count from 1 to 100 - Busuu (2024)

Japanese numbers: 1 to 10

Hiragana English Letter-by-letter breakdown Phonetics
いち one い (i)ち(chi) ichi
two に (ni) ni
さん three さ(sa) ん (n) san
し / よん four し(shi) / よ(yo)ん(n) shi / yon
five ご (go go
ろく six ろ(ro)く(ku) roku
しち / なな seven し(shi)ち(chi) / なな(nana) shichi / nana
はち eight は(ha/wa)ち(chi) hachi
きゅう/く nine きゅ(kyu)う(u) /く(ku) kyu / ku
じゅう ten じゅ(ju)う(u) juu

The best bit? If you can memorise the names for Japanese numbers 1 to 10, you’re well on your way to being able to say any Japanese number.

Top tip:
You’ll notice that 4, 7 and 9 all have two possible readings.

These two names are basically interchangeable when you’re counting in Japanese. Any native speaker will know both versions.

In times past, the Japanese created the preferable alternatives, yon, nana, and kyu, because of superstition around the sounds shi, shichi and ku (which can mean “death”, “place of death” and “agony”). But in practice, the different readings are largely just chosen based on context – telling time versus counting things, for example.

You’ll notice that, after 10, only those preferred pronunciations – yon, nana and kyu – are used for 4, 7 and . So for double-digit numbers ending in a 0, like 40, we usually say _yonjuu and not shi juu.

Counting from 11 to 19 in Japanese

Hiragana English Phonetics
じゅういち eleven juu-ichi
じゅうに twelve juu-ni
じゅうさん thirteen juu-san
じゅうよん fourteen juu-yon*
じゅうご fifteen juu-go
じゅうろく sixteen juu-roku
じゅうなな seventeen juu-nana*
じゅうはち eighteen juu-hachi
じゅうきゅう nineteen juu-kyu*

Japanese numbers: simple double-digit numbers

Hiragana English Phonetics
にじゅう twenty ni-juu
さんじゅう thirty san-juu
よんじゅう forty yon-juu
ごじゅう fifty go-juu
ろくじゅう sixty roku-juu
ななじゅう seventy nana-juu
はちじゅう eighty hachi-juu
きゅうじゅう ninety kyu-juu
ひゃく one hundred hyaku

Complex double-digit Japanese numbers

Number Formation Hiragana Phonetics
23 two-ten-three にじゅうさん ni-juu-san
49 four-ten-nine よんじゅうきゅう yon-juu-kyu
58 five-ten-eight ごじゅうはち go-juu-hachi
97 nine-ten-seven きゅうじゅうなな kyu-juu-nana
Japanese Numbers: How to Count from 1 to 100  - Busuu (2024)


How do you count over 100 in Japanese? ›

Japanese numbers beyond 100

For numbers between 101 and 199, you need to add the prefix “hyaku.” For example, 112 is “hyaku juu-ni.” Two hundred is two times 100, so you simply have to add 2 (“ni”) before “hyaku.”

Is 7 in Japanese Shichi or Nana? ›

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

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.

What is 100000 in Japanese? ›

100,000: juu-man 「10万」 1,000,000: hyaku-man (one million) 「100万」

What is 1000 in Japanese? ›

Basic numbering in Japanese
NumberCharacterOn reading
1,000sen / せん
10,000man / まん
100,000,000oku / おく
1,000,000,000,000chō / ちょう
23 more rows

What is 1 2 3 4 5 all the way to 100? ›

According to arithmetic progression, natural numbers can be written down as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 to 100. Basically, the sum of the first 100 natural numbers is equal to 5050.

What is the 1000 spelling? ›

Therefore, 1000 in words is written as One thousand. Learn more about place value here.

How do you spell 123? ›

123 in words is written as One hundred twenty-three. In both the International System of Numerals and the Indian System of Numerals, 123 is written as One hundred twenty-three.

Should I say shi or Yon? ›

As a rule, the Japanese one is used when the word is not combined with another character. In case of 'four' there are two Chinese readings: yon and shi. Both of them are correct and most of the times either of them can be used in the same circ*mstances.

What is the kanji for 0? ›

means 'zero'

How do you say 3 in Japan? ›

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

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".

Is 88 a lucky number in Japan? ›

One explanation is that 88 is a lucky number, and believe me, luck is a necessary blessing on this pilgrimage. Earlier than 1689, it was mentioned although briefly in Murasaki Shikibu's Tales of Genji around the 11th century.

Is 3 a lucky number in Japan? ›

It is known that Japanese tend to be superstitious. There are certain things or circ*mstances that are uniquely explained sometimes through superstitious beliefs. One of those things are the concept about Lucky Numbers! Did you know that the number 3 is considered as one of the lucky numbers in Japan?

How to say 100 million yen? ›

For example, the term for 10,000 yen, or about $100, is 'one ten thousand', 一万 ichi-man (then add 'en' for yen). Then for 100,000 yen, about $1,000, it's 'ten ten thousands', 10万 Ju-man. For 100,000,000 it's not 'one hundred million', it's 'one one hundred million', 一億, Ichi-oku. Simple.

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

What is 1500 in Japanese? ›

sengohyaku 千

How do you count long things in Japanese? ›

As we mentioned, 本 (hon) is a counter for long, thin objects, such as umbrellas, pens, and chopsticks. A sheet of paper is also long and thin, but objects of this shape use the counter 枚 (mai).

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Reed Wilderman

Last Updated:

Views: 5740

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Reed Wilderman

Birthday: 1992-06-14

Address: 998 Estell Village, Lake Oscarberg, SD 48713-6877

Phone: +21813267449721

Job: Technology Engineer

Hobby: Swimming, Do it yourself, Beekeeping, Lapidary, Cosplaying, Hiking, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Reed Wilderman, I am a faithful, bright, lucky, adventurous, lively, rich, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.