Japanese Numbers

Numbers and Counting in Japanese

This page contains a list of Japanese numbers - both cardinal and ordinal - and how to use them. The numbers below are written in English, Japanese pronunciation and Kanji.

Japanese numbers are an important part of the Japanese language, and learning them is essential for anyone interested in Japanese culture or language. In Japanese, there are two number systems: the traditional Japanese number system and the Arabic number system, which is commonly used in everyday life.

The traditional Japanese number system uses a combination of words to express numbers, with each number having its unique name. For example, the number one is "ichi," two is "ni," and three is "san." This system is still used in some contexts, such as when counting money or telling time.

On the other hand, the Arabic number system is used for most numerical operations, including phone numbers, addresses, and prices.

Learning Japanese numbers is crucial for understanding Japanese culture, as numbers are used in many aspects of daily life, from shopping and dining to telling time and scheduling appointments. With practice, anyone can master Japanese numbers, opening up a world of understanding and appreciation for Japanese language and culture.

Also, don't forget to check out our Learn Japanese page, which contains several lessons that might help you in your learning process.

Japanese Cardinal Numbers

Numbers in Japanese can either be written in the usual "Arabic numbers" fashion (0...9), or using kanji. 0...9 is more often used when writing horizontally, kanji when writing vertically, although there are plenty of exceptions to both.

When using kanji to write numbers, a positional system is employed. 25 is "two ten five", 3479 is "three thousand four hundred seven ten nine", etc. Note that there is a character and word for 10,000 (man), but not for a million. To say a million, you have to say "one hundred ten-thousand".

Cardinal numbers are digits like 1, 2, 3, 4... There are two ways of writing the numbers in Japanese, in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) or in Chinese numerals (一, 二, 三). The Arabic numerals are more often used in horizontal writing, and the Chinese numerals are more common in vertical writing.

English Japanese Cardinal Numbers in Romaji Kanji
0 rei [rei]
1 Iti [ichi]
2 ni
3 san
4 Shi
5 go
6 roku
7 nana
8 hati [hachi]
9 kyu
10 jyu
11 jyu ichi 十一
20 ni jyu 二十
100 hyaku

Here are some examples of some other numbers which will give you an idea on how the structure of several numbers is made:

English Japanese Cardinal Numbers in Romaji Kanji
17 jyu nana, jyu shichi 十七
151 hyaku go-jyu ichi 百五十一
302 san-byaku ni 三百二
469 yon-hyaku roku-jyu kyu 四百六十九
2025 ni-sen ni-jyu go 二千二十五

Japanese Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers are used to determine a position or a rank, for example: first, second, third ... please look at the table below:

Katakana's main feature is short straight strokes and angular corners, that’s why Katakana is considered the simplest of the Japanese scripts.

English Japanese Cardinal Numbers in Romaji Kanji
first tuitati 1日
second hutuka 2日
third mikka 3日
fourth yokka 4日
fifth ituka 5日
sixth muika 6日
seventh nanoka 7日
eight youka 8日
ninth kokonoka 9日
tenth touka 10日
eleventh zyuuitiniti 11日
twentieth hatuka 20日
hundredth hyakka 100日

I hope the content of this page was useful to you, and that you learned some Japanese numbers, including the cardinal, and ordinal numbers. Try to memorize them to be able to use them in your daily conversation. Make sure to check our Learn Japanese page, which contains several lessons that might help you in your learning process.