Variations of 十

Hi everyone, I encountered this sentence the other day: “四月一〇日”, which at first I thought was just “April 1st”, I tried to look up what the 〇 meant in this context, (because google translate didn’t work with it for whatever reason), but couldn’t find anything online, that is until I read the English version of the book this was in and I realized it was actually April 10th.
I really felt dumb because once you know it’s just obvious this is ten (I mean 1+0) but could anyone provide me with some resources on the subject or just tell me why it’s written this way, the little history behind it since 十 feels way faster to write than 一〇 so why not use the regular ten? And also how that would be read, would it still be とおか or does 一〇 have its own reading?


Sometimes numbers are just done one by one.

Not very normal to see something like 二千二十二 instead of just 二〇二二, I think.


For months though? 一〇月 seems a bit odd to me.

Days and months do feel weird.

See this a lot on prices on menus at restaurants, not sure why though? I’d say I tend to see it at fancier-ish restaurants.

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This is also often used as a placeholder. But seems weird in a date.

What was the sentence?

I don’t know if it depends on context or not, if sometimes the digits will the read out when they’re spelled out like that, but I just rewatched a clip from an anime where a character lists the heights of the players of the rival team, where I knew they were spelled out in the novel, and it seems they’re read normally: 一八四 is just another way of writing 184, and they’re both read just like 百八十四. So, 一〇日 is most likely still read as とおか, yes.

As for either being faster to write, though: typing using the reading, yeah, 十 would likely be faster than 一〇, but using the number pad, it’s just a matter of choosing from IME suggestions, which both take the same amount of time. Same with 百八十四 vs 一八四, they both took about two seconds.


〇 can be used to censor information either because of vulgarity, trademarks/copyrights, or to give wiggle room in writing like how some stories will say 20XX to denote the century, but leave the decade and year up to interpretation.

Edit: That maru is in a weird place though giving it a second look. Maybe it’s trying to nail down a very specific level of formality?

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This is from the very first chapter of デート・ア・ライブ - 十香デッドエンド.
I agree that it does seems weird as it is the only book where I’ve encountered this way of writing 10 for a date.

I totally forgot about the number pad… well now that you say it, it does seems easier to do it that way although again I can totally understand this for years, or “big numbers” when it comes to height or even for a large number of days like 八百九十六日 it would be easier to write 八九六日 (If I understood correctly what you said), also now that I think about it I’m pretty sure they used to call the AE86 in Initial D and in everyday life “the はちろく” instead of “the 八十六”.
It being done for something as short as 十日 definitely seems weird even after your explanation, because if the author wrote his first manuscript on paper then 十日 would probably be faster and even thinking about typing it on a computer while being on the “letter” part of keyboard it should totally be faster to type tooka instead of moving your hand and going kind of out of your way to reach the numpad and then typing 1 0 + ka/jitsu (only for such a small number, I totally agree that it is faster for something like 184), but aside from this technicality you answered exactly what I was interested in knowing, so thanks a lot!

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I tried it out (I blanked on that it was a date when writing that part lmao I wrote that reply totally out of order), and you can get 一〇日 from typing とおか, though I had to get to the second page of suggestions to find it lol. 十日, on the other hand, was the very first one…

So yeah I’m not sure why the author went with that method of writing it, since I mostly see it for years, heights, volumes, etc., or why they wouldn’t go with 4月10日, but I guess they thought it fit the feeling of what they were going for there, or something.

Was it written vertically?

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It was written vertically, yes.

Why are there so many ways to write ‘10’? 十人十色 :slight_smile:


I thought so. For vertical writing it’s not uncommon to write out zeroes as ◯. Keep in mind that in horizontal wiring arabic numerals are far more common than kanji. But arabic numerals look ugly in vertical wiring, so the next best thing is to use kanji but as if they were arabic digits.

You may think that eg 12 should be written as 十二 but it’s often written as 一ニ


Heh, there’s a chapter in Yuru Camp where Ena, who has a seasonal job sorting New Years’ cards, laments that people hand-writing their addresses vertically don’t take sufficient care to ensure that it looks like 一 plus ニ and not just 三.


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