|sci.lang.japan FAQ / 12. Numbers, counting, and dates|
Japanese uses a different counting system for large numbers to English. In English, numbers increase by thousands, so one thousand, one million, then one billion, a thousand times a million. Japanese is based on the Chinese system which uses ten thousand as a basic unit. A man (万) is ten thousand, and then an oku (億) is ten thousand times ten thousand, a hundred million. Increasing in number, a chou (兆) is ten thousand times an oku, or a trillion. The following list shows the first few of these large numbers.
|Kanji||Pronunciation||Equivalent numerals||English pronunciation|
|億||おく||100,000,000||One hundred million|
The FAQ's Western to Kanji and Kanji to Western number converters give even larger numbers.
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