# Useful Mnemonics

I’ve got one for the numbers, which I recall as one of the things that gave me a bit of a headache back in the day.

1 一 ichi - 一つ hito-tsu
2 二 ni - 二つ futa-tsu
3 三 san - 三つ mit-tsu
4 四 yon,shi - 四つ yot-tsu
5 五 go - 五つ itsu-tsu
6 六 roku - 六つ mut-tsu
7 七 shichi - 七つ nana-tsu
8 八 hachi - 八つ yat-tsu
9 九 kyuu - 九つ kokono-tsu

What I had the most problem with was remembering the position of mittsu, muttsu, yottsu and yattsu, since hitotsu and futatsu I already connected with other words I knew, and itsutsu, nanatsu and kokonotsu are the double sound ones (i+2xtsu, 2xna+tsu and 2xko+notsu). So my method is this:

• mittsu and muttsu go together in one pair
• yattsu and yottsu go in the other
• one pair matches the multiples of 3, other multiples of 4
• yo in yottsu matches yo in yon (4), so yattsu goes with 8
• u in muttsu matches the only other u in roku (6), so mittsu goes with 3 (there’s no i in san or roku to confuse it with)
8 Likes

Counters for days are similar, 3 and 6 (みっか, むいか) go together, same with 4 and 8 (よっか, ようか). Small っ for smaller 3 and 4, and larger full vovels for 6 and 8. 8 wanted to be like it’s little sister 4, so it changed its や for よ and went with う in place of 4’s っ, while 6, who wanted to be like the cool and unique 1 (いちにち), went with the same い instead. 5 7 9 are the same as before, just that 7 inherited the の from it’s older sister 9. 2 also picked up a large つ, so it makes a nice pattern with つっっつ across 2,3,4 and 5.

1 ひとつ → いちにち (exception)
2 ふたつ → ふつか
3 みっつ → みっか
4 よっつ → よっか
5 いつつ → いつか
6 むっつ → むいか
7 ななつ → なのか
8 やっつ → ようか
9 ここのつ → ここのか

1 Like

ついたち, actually. いちにち has a different use.

While we’re at it,

10 = とおか
14 = じゅうよっか
20 = はつか
24 = にじゅうよっか

Everything else is on’yomi+にち, though.

3 Likes

Depends on what you mean. One day (いちにち), or first day (ついたち)

https://namakajiri.net/nikki/the-old-japanese-binary-numeral-system/

FITŌ-TU: 1 / HITO-TSU
FUTA-TU: 2 / FUTA-TSU

MI-TU: 3 / MI-TTSU 三
MU-TU: 6 / MU-TTSU

YŌ-TU: 4 / YO-TTSU
YA-TU: 8 / YA-TTSU

ITU-TU: 5 / ITSU-TSU
*TŌWŌ: 10 / TOO

NANA-TU: 7 / NANA-TSU

KOKONO-TU: 9 / KOKONO-TSU

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