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Japanese Counting Numbers
Learn Counting in Japanese
Welcome to the Japanese lesson on Counting Numbers. This page is all about Japanese numbers. In the English language, numbers are used in the same way when counting different types of things. But in the Japanese language, numbers are used in many ways. Why?
Because Japanese uses different counters for different types of things ranging from simple objects, people, flat things, long slender things to books. See below on how Japanese number counting varies.
1 ichi 
21 nijuuichi 
100 
hyaku 
2 ni 
22 nijuuni 
150 
hyakugojuu 
3 san 
23 nijuusan 
200 
nihyaku 
4 yon/shi 
30 sanjuu 
300 
sanbyaku 
5 go 
31 sanjuuichi 
1000 
sen 
6 roku 
32 sanjuuni 
1500 
sengohyaku 
7 nana/shichi 
40 yonjuu 
2000 
nisen 
8 hachi 
41 yonjuuichi 
10000 
ichiman 
9 kyuu/ku 
42 yonjuuni 
100000 
juuman 
10 juu 
50 gojuu 
1000000 
hyakuman 
11 juuichi 
51 gojuuichi 
10000000 
senman 
12 juuni 
52 gojuuni 
100,000,000 
ichioku 
13 juusan 
60 rokujuu 


14 juushi 
61 rokujuuichi 


15 juugo 
70 nanajuu 


16 juuroku 
71 nanajuuichi 


17 juushichi 
80 hachijuu 


18 juuhachi 
81 hachijuuichi 


19 juuku 
90 kyuujuu 


20 nijuu 
91 kyuujuuichi 


With “hyaku” (100) and “sen” (1000), the pattern is basically the same. However, there are some changes in pronunciation. Numbers with pronunciation changes are underlined.
100 
hyaku 
1000 
sen 
200 
nihyaku 
2000 
nisen 
300 
sanbyaku 
3000 
sanzen 
400 
yonhyaku 
4000 
yonsen 
500 
gohyaku 
5000 
gosen 
600 
roppyaku 
6000 
rokusen 
700 
nanahyaku 
7000 
nanasen 
800 
happyaku 
8000 
hassen 
900 
kyuuhyaku 
9000 
kyuusen 
The Japanese uses 10,000 as a counting unit. Each unit of 10,000 is called “man”. This continues until 100,000,000 (ichioku).
100000 
ichiman 
100000 
juuman 
100000 
hyakuman 
10000000 
senman 
100000000 
ichioku 
“Man” and “oku” follow a regular rule except for 10,000 and 100,000,000. They are always “ichiman” and “ichioku,” not just “man” and “oku.”
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In most cases, the Japanese use the Arabic (Western) numbers when they write horizontally.
Sample Pattern in Japanese Counting
21 = 20 + 1 –> nijuu ichi
123= 100 + 20 + 3 –> hyaku nijuu san
1999 = 1000 + 900 + 90 + 9 –> sen kyuuhyaku kyuujuu kyuu
20864 = 20000 + 800 + 60 + 4 –> niman happyaku rokujuu yon
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543210 = 540000 + 3000 + 200 + 10 –> gojuuyonman sanzen nihyaku juu
Counting Generic Objects in Japanese
Here are the Japanese counters for objects, learn this well!
1 – hitotsu
2 – futatsu
3 – mittsu
4 – yottsu
5 – itsutsu
6 – muttsu
7 – nanatsu
8 – yatsu
9 – kokonotsu
10 – too
Then continue counting with regular numbers.
How Many – ikutsu
Counting People in Japanese
Here, we use the suffix “nin” but this changes depending on the number of people. 1 person and 2 people are exceptions. Again, just learn by counting over and over out loud.
1 – person hitori
2 – people futari
3 – people sannin
4 – people yonin
5 – people gonin
6 – people rokunin
7 – people shichinin
8 – people hachinin
9 – people kunin
10 – people junin
How many people – nannin
Learn Counting Flat Objects in Japanese
The counter here is the suffix “mai.” Examples: paper, plates, etc.
1 – ichimai
2 – nimai
3 – sanmai
4 – yonmai
5 – gomai
6 – rokumai
7 – nanamai
8 – hachimai
9 – kyumai
10 – jumai
How Many – nanmai
Counting Long Slender Objects in Japanese
The counter here is the suffix “hon.” Examples: Pencils, sticks, etc.
1 – ippon
2 – nihon
3 – sanbon
4 – yohon
5 – gohon
6 – roppon
7 – nanahon
8 – happon
9 – kyuhon
10 – jyuppon
How Many – nanbon
Counting Books in Japanese
The counter here is the suffix “satsu.”
1 Book – issatsu
2 Books – nisatsu
3 Books – sansatsu
4 Books – yonsatsu
5 Books – gosatsu
6 Books – rokusatsu
7 Books – nanasatsu
8 Books – hassatsu
9 Books – kyusatsu
10 Books – jissatsu
How Many – nansatsu
Next, why don’t you check out some useful Japanese phrases and Japanese greetings, and learn about telling time in Japanese?