# Big numbers

I was looking for the names of numbers greater than (ちょう), and I found this online.

https://www.japonin.com/japan/free-learning-tools/free-language-japanese-blog/153-japanese-numerical-units.html

It has the numbers up to 100 unvigintillion, which is pretty neat. The image is a bit blurry though, so I’d thought I’d transcribe it so others can use it more easily.

I also loved how the number names go from unique kanji to descriptors made by a person panicking about the size of a newly discovered number, so here’s a little table with the translations of the numbers. I just did this for fun, so if you have better translations, don’t hesitate to add on

Kanji Value Literal Translation
(いち) {1} -
(じゅう) {10} -
(ひゃく) {10^2} -
(せん) {10^3} -
(まん) {10^4} -
(おく) {10^8} “Abundant” in Old-Chinese
(ちょう) {10^{12}} Omen Of the numbers to come
(けい) {10^{16}} Large mound or ridge in old Chinese
(がい) {10^{20}} Border/boundary you wish
𥝱 or 秭(じょ or し) {10^{24}} -
(じょう) {10^{28}} -
(こう) {10^{32}} Trench
(かん) {10^{36}} Refers to “brook between mountains” in Chinese I don’t know either
(せい) {10^{40}} Correct
(さい) {10^{44}} Piled on
(ごく) {10^{48}} Extreme

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nice thread, i’m sure it’ll be genuinely beneficial once I get past these early levels, bookmarking for the future thx

I actually just learned 1 million in my last lesson session, 百万 so I might even be able to read through these even at my level and understand it to some degree!

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I doubt you’ll ever need to use this, but it’s fun nonetheless

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Numbers are always useful, even at these sizes!

Edit: talking about 百万 I don’t see it on here? I think it should be at the 106?

And I think 十万 at 105 but maybe they have their own unique Kanji

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https://htwins.net/scale2/

I mean the observable universe is {10^{27}} meters so I’m not sure how that would be useful

Those are not unique terms though. You can simply combine them yourself if necessary.
From (まん) on, you can use (じゅう)(ひゃく)(せん) to get a more precise number

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Of course it’s useful? How else am I going to describe the size of my Weiner Jello?

Context

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Ah nvm, it is useful

Those are not unique terms though. You can simply combine them yourself if necessary.
From (まん) on, you can use (じゅう), (ひゃく), and (せん) to get a more precise number.
It is kind of similar to hundred thousand, million, ten million, hundred million, billion, ten billion, etc.

If I were to add all of those this list would get unnecessarily complicated though, so I elected not do to that.

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Oh man I forgot that one

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Tofugu also had an article on counting if anyone’s interested.

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And that was the moment when Pep found out that Tofugu already wrote a very useful and interesting article about this, and that he wasted about an hour getting all this information together…

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なんか…済みません!

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I’m a dumbass

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It isn’t a waste of time, you brought attention to something that people might have otherwise not seen / found. And by putting this thread together you have created something and helped reinforce these numbers for yourself.

And if you had not made this thread EKG would not have linked you the Tofugu page so you would 1. not have had the reinforcement of the thread 2. would not now have the full Tofugu page available to you right now! Even if you found it later on, you’re not dumb.

Actually even though I meme a lot on the forums like with my Nerd gif, I do appreciate it when people like you give the community something to interact with like this.

You made me remember 百万 which I learned last night, so you’ve helped reinforce one of my lessons

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Wikipedia’s also got a list, but it notes as well that the ones above 1052 have multiple possible values - there’s also a “long” scale, that goes

Most people still use the “short” scale, but some people do use the “long” scale.

(As if anyone actually uses either…)

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Wow interesting!
So now it’s double confusing
Does it only start at 極?

No but, my point is, at that point, it’s much easier to just say 1080. I’m not saying noone would use numbers in that order of magnitude, but rather that noone would use words in that order of magnitude. Notice the number used in the article is 1080 and not 100 quinvigintillion.

Seems like it.

Honestly curious as to how that particular index was arrived at. Jisho says it’s 7*2122, but why?

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There seems to be an explanation on wiki but it’s so complex xD

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Oho.

The explanation seems to be a passage from the Avatamsaka Sutra, and it’s full of lots of number-words that don’t exist in Jisho.

So 1 倶胝 = 100 lakh (the only one that is in Jisho, = 10万 = 107)
1 阿庾多 = 倶胝2 ( = 107*2)
1 那由他 = 阿庾多2 ( = 107*2*2 = 107*2^2, though that’s 1028, and a 那由多 was previously established as 1060, hmm… uh, which this article mentions too.)
1 頻波羅 = 那由他2 ( = 107*2*2*2 = 107*2^3)
(skip a few)
1 不可説不可説 = 不可説転2
And 1 不可説不可説転 = 不可説不可説2

Though following this pattern is gonna result in 122 different “number” words. Just how long is this sutra?

Anyway, the point of this is that it’s trying to say that enlightenment is so remote that you can’t even count to it. (Though, the article goes on to point out that 1 不可説不可説転270 那由他 is approximately equal to a googolplex.)

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