Is 弱 a counter? If so, then a counter for what?

I read this news article

By the context, it seems to me like 弱 is a counter for degrees on the richter scale (and perhaps other things). Am I getting this wrong? So that’s the first question.

On the second question: It seems to me like a weird kanji for counting earthquake strength. Maybe the richter scale being logarithmic has something to do with it. That would make it weak in a sense (compared to a linear scale).

If anyone could shed some light on this, I would appreciate it.


This isn’t answering the question

I saw this on twitter today, and I was wondering the same thing! I figured it was just meant to indicate earthquake strength on the Richter scale

First, the 震度 scale is not the same as the Richter scale. The Shindo scale measures shaking on the surface.

Also in this case, 弱 is a suffix that means “a little less than the stated value” while 強 is the opposite. If you want to read more.

Slight Edit: Nothing is being counted here, so a counter wouldn’t make sense unless 5 Earthquakes happened or something.


Oh interesting! I was just looking it up on wikipedia and I found this:


So the weak/strong only applies for 5+ on the scale. I’m guessing the scale is still logarithmic, so higher values need the differentiation between stronger and weaker (I haven’t read too much into it).


That makes sense.

My favorite description is from the Upper 5: “Poorly installed vending machines can fall” is specifically written.

Shindo: A measurement of shaking felt at points on the ground. Richter scale: A measurement of the energy released from the epicenter.


On an almost completely unrelated note, we don’t use the Richter scale in the West either, not any more. We use the Moment Magnitude Scale (which is fairly close to Richter in the middle ranges, to be fair, but it’s more accurate).

1 Like

First off, man you guys are fast! I took what (?) five minutes tops before someone had the answer.

Two follow up questions
How do you read it? is it じゃく and きょう?

Is 震度 a particular scale?
I thought it was just earthquake intensity (in whatever scale you want to use).

I’d say “yes”, with about 95% confidence. I confess I’ve never heard it spoken before, though. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Yes, see definition 1.

1 Like

Ah. Of course. That, I should have realised I could have just looked up myself. I was too mentally locked in in the whole earthquake context.

The answer I was fishing for was if 震度 was primarily one or the other. But it was an unnecessary question. If it’s both, then it doesn’t really matter.

The interesting thing about the Shindo scale for me is that because it measures how intensely the shaking is felt at the surface, the measurement will be different depending on how far away from the epicenter you are. So if you look at the map from the article:
The epicenter is marked with an X, and the area directly next to it felt the quake as a lower 5. Then we can see that the next island to the right felt it as a 3, whereas the two islands further out only felt it as a 2.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.