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Japanese calendar days and puns

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Japanese numbers

The Japanese language has basically two sets of numbers. The original Japanese system and the Chinese character (or Kanji) based system.

Counters are also used with Japanese numbers and these can influence the pronunciation of the words.

While Arabic numerals are usually used in horizontal texts,Kanji numerals are often written vertically.

In this Japanese learner's blog by Kinoi sensei, you can learn a fun way to make jokes or puns with Japanese numbers. Read this blog and enjoy an introduction to Japanese humor.

記念日と語呂合わせ
Japanese calendar days and puns

kinoi

By KINOI Rie

日本のカレンダーには祝日や行事の他にもたくさんの記念日があります。 それらの記念日は、数字の語呂合わせで決められたものが多いです。

calendar

語呂合わせとは、文字の音から意味の全く違う言葉に当てるという意味です。音は同じだけど、意味が違っています。例えば、日本では神社に行くと賽銭箱に「いいご(ごえん)がありますように。」と「五円(ごえん)」を入れる人が多いです。このような語呂合わせでたくさんの記念日があります。

shinto

まず、数字の読み方を見ていきましょう。 1はイ・ヒ、2はニ・フ、3はサ・ミ、4はヨン・ヨ・シ、5はゴ・イ、6はロク・ロ・ム、7はナナ・ナ・シチ、8はハチ・ハ・ヤ、9はキュウ・ク・コ、10はジュウ・トオ・ト という読み方で何かの言葉を考えます。

numbers

3月10日は、砂糖(さ3+とう10)の日、
7月10日は、納豆(な7+っとう10)の日、
8月6日は、ハム(は8+む6)の日、
8月31日は、野菜(や8+さ3+い1)の日、
10月2日は、豆腐(とう10+ふ2)の日、
11月8日は、いい歯(いい11+は8)の日

3月9日はありがとうの日。どうしてかわかりますか。3(さん)と9(きゅう)でサンキュー(thank you)だからです。英語を当てたものもあります。

他にもたくさんあります。自分でも作れそうですね。

To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video. 

記念日(きねんび)と語呂(ごろ)合(あ)わせ

日本(にほん)のカレンダーには祝日(しゅくじつ)や行事(ぎょうじ)の他(ほか)にもたくさんの記念日(きねんび)があります。 それらの記念日(きねんび)は、数字(すうじ)の語呂(ごろ)合(あ)わせで決(き)められたものが多(おお)いです。

語呂(ごろ)合(あ)わせとは、文字(もじ)の音(おと)から意味(いみ)の全(まった)く違(ちが)う言葉(ことば)に当(あ)てるという意味(いみ)です。音(おと)は同(おな)じだけど、意味(いみ)が違(ちが)っています。例(たと)えば、日本(にほん)では神社(じんじゃ)に行(い)くと賽銭箱(さいせんばこ)に「いいご(ごえん)がありますように。」と「五円(ごえん)」を入(い)れる人(ひと)が多(おお)いです。このような語呂(ごろ)合(あ)わせでたくさんの記念日(きねんび)があります。

まず、数字(すうじ)の読(よ)み方(かた)を見(み)ていきましょう。 1はイ・ヒ、2はニ・フ、3はサ・ミ、4はヨン・ヨ・シ、5はゴ・イ、6はロク・ロ・ム、7はナナ・ナ・シチ、8はハチ・ハ・ヤ、9はキュウ・ク・コ、10はジュウ・トオ・ト という読(よ)み方(かた)で何(なに)かの言葉(ことば)を考(かんが)えます。

3月(がつ)10日(とおか)は、砂糖(さ3+とう10)の日(ひ)、
7月(がつ)10日(とおか)は、納豆(な7+っとう10)の日(ひ)、
8月(がつ)6日(むいか)は、ハム(は8+む6)の日(ひ)、
8月(がつ)31日(にち)は、野菜(や8+さ3+い1)の日(ひ)、
10月(がつ)2日(ふつか)は、豆腐(とう10+ふ2)の日(ひ)、
11月(がつ)8日(ようか)は、いい歯(いい11+は8)の日(ひ)、

3月(がつ)9日(ここのか)はありがとうの日(ひ)。どうしてかわかりますか。3(さん)と9(きゅう)でサンキュー(thank you)だからです。英語(えいご)を当(あ)てたものもあります。

他(ほか)にもたくさんあります。自分(じぶん)でも作(つく)れそうですね。

Japanese calendar days and puns

In the Japanese calendar, there are many memorial days like events days and National holidays. And of these memorial days, there are many that are decided using puns or ('goro awase' in Japanese) of numbers.

'Goro awase' means attributing a completely different meaning from the sounds of the words. The sounds may be the same, but the meaning is different. For example, when we go to a shrine's offertory box in Japan, many people often say “I pray for good fate” (or Go En in Japanese) and then offer five yen (or Go En in Japanese) to the offertory box.

First, let's look at the way we can read numbers:- 1 can be read as I or Hi , 2 can be read as Ni or Fu , 3 can be read as Sa or Mi , 4 can be read as Yon ,Yo or Shi , 5 can be read as Go or I , 6 can be read as Roku , Ro or Mu , 7 can be read as Nana, Na or Shichi , 8 can be read as Hachi, Ha or Ya , 9 can be read as Kyu, Ku or Ko , 10 can be read as Juu , Tou or To And words can be made with these reading ways .

March 10th : Is known as Satou (sugar) Day (3= sa , 10 = tou)
June 10th : Is known as Natou (fermented bean curd) Day ( 7= na , 10 = tou)
August 6th : Is known as Ham Day (8 = ha , 6 = mu)
August 31st : Is known as Yasai (vegetables) Day (8 = ya , 3 = sa , 1 = i )
October 2nd : Is known as Tofu Day ( 10= tou , 2 = fu)
November 8th : Is known as Good teeth (Ii ha) Day (1 = i , 1 = i, 8 = ha )

March 9th is Arigatou day. Can you guess why ? ( 3 = san , 9 = kyuu ) so San Kyuu = Thank you . You can make puns of English words too !

Can you make any other words ?

祝日(しゅくじつ) national holiday

記念日(きねんび) anniversary; memorial day

語呂(ごろ)合(あ)わせ rhyming game; play on words; pun

神社(じんじゃ) shrine

賽銭箱(さいせんばこ) offertory box

縁(えん) fate; chance; relationship; tie

kinoi

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