sci.lang.japan FAQ

12. Numbers, counting, and dates

Kanji numbers on handwritten sign

The Japanese have two different methods of writing numbers, one is in kanji (kansuuji (漢数字)), and the other is in Arabic numerals (keisansuuji (計算数字)). The kanji numbers are more often used in vertical writing (see 1.3.8. Can Japanese be written right to left?) and Arabic numerals are more often used in horizontal writing, although either way is possible.

Similar to Chinese, Japanese has an extensive system of counters for various kinds of objects. See 12.3. What is the counter for ...? The numbers also increase in the same way as Chinese, with large numbers being counted in tens of thousands. See 12.1. How does Japanese write large numbers? Also similar are the numerals used to prevent fraud in financial situations. See 12.2. What are the kanji numbers on bank notes?

See also the FAQ's Western to Kanji and Kanji to Western number converters.


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