What is the counter for ...?

This page is a short list of some of the various Japanese counting words, josuushi (助数詞). These words and the method of counting originate from Chinese. For each word, the methods of counting one, two and three of the items is also recorded, since these are often irregular.

Japanese counting words
Kanji Counter word One Two Three Used to count
Animals, birds and people
hiki ippiki nihiki sanbiki Small animals, fish
nin hitori futari sannin People
mei ichimei nimei sanmei People
wa ichiwa niwa sanwa Birds and rabbits (because the ears of the rabbit resemble wings)
ittō nitō santō Large animals and farmyard animals such as cows
bi ichibi nibi sanbi Fish
Shapes
hon ippon nihon sanbon Long thin objects such as pencils. Also station platforms.
mai ichimai nimai sanmai Flat objects such as pieces of paper.
Other
haku ippaku nihaku sanpaku Moras. See What is the difference between a mora and a syllable?

About the kanji links: You can choose where the kanji links on this page go to at the kanji.sljfaq.org options page.

External links


If you have questions, corrections, or comments, please contact Ben Bullock or use the discussion forum / Privacy

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