Question about formal form of numbers

So I’ve been watching Tokyo Revengers lately, and this scene came up. They were explaining the hierarchy of a gang and squads inside the gang. So there are five squads. Now, I noticed that the numbers other than the fourth squad were written in kanji (and even in the “formal” form), but the fourth squad was written in hiragana. Why is that?


I don’t know the answer to the question, but I do wonder if it has something to do with the kanji used for the formal version of four, 肆, lacking the same kun’yomi of the usual kanji (unlike the other numbers from 1-5).

And oh boy was it tricky getting my IME to produce that kanji…


My primary guess is just inability to write it being more natural.

From 1-5, the only formal numbers that are actually in official modern usage is 壱、弐、参、四、五. Notice how 4 and 5 are the same as normal. For 5, however, the older obsolete version, 伍, is still in use in other parts of the language and isn’t particularly rare or hard to write. On the other hand, 肆 is harder to write and not used in other words or names that people often see. Thus, it stands to reason that some natives would be able to write all but 4, possibly giving rise to this situation.

Literally entirely just a guess tho lmao


That makes sense, thanks!

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