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Kanji Challenge – Part 4 Posted by on May 30, 2015 in Culture, Grammar

The last Kanji Challenge was all about the one character Kanji’s. Hopefully, the list of Kanji’s I put together was something you can easily memorize and become familiar with. While researching about my next topic of Kanji Challenge, I came across this great site that has 50 of the basic Kanji’s with its pronunciation and few other vocabulary to go with each one of them. If you are interested, check it out here.


Essential Kanji 200 

You can learn about the first 50 they have listed without membership. 🙂


In today’s post, I would like to introduce you to simple Kanji’s but something useful in that you could apply to your basic Japanese studying as well, which is about Japanese counter words.


Counter words

Counter words, which is called Josushi (じょすうし、助数詞) in Japanese are used along with numbers to count things.  When you count anything, counter word is necessary to go along with the number.


10 Most common Japanese counter words


1) Tou (頭、とう) – large animals, such as horse, cows, elephants, etc..

Example: 三頭の牛がいます。さんとうの うしが います。(There are three cows.)


2) Hon, Bon (本、ほん、ぼん) – Long thin objects, such as carrots, pencils, sticks, etc.

Example: 今日、人参を5本買いました。きょう、にんじんを ごほん かいました。(I bought 5 carrots today.)


3) Nin (人、にん) – People

Example:私の家族は4人です。わたしの かぞくは よにん です。(We have 4 people in my family.)


4) Hiki, Piki (匹、ひき、びき) – Small animals, insects, fish etc..

Example: 私は、魚を12匹 飼っています。わたしは、さかなを じゅうにひき かっています。(I have 12 fish.)


5) Soku (足、そく) -socks, shoes.

Example: 今日、新しい靴下を2足買いました。きょう あたらしい くつしたを にそく かいました。(I bought two new pairs of socks today.)


6) Ken (軒、けん) – House

Example: 私の家は、角から二軒目です。わたしのいえは かどから にけんめです。(My house is the second house from the corner.)


7) Seki (隻、せき) – Boat, ship

Example: 三隻の船が見えます。さんせきの ふねが みえます。(I see three boats.)


8) Sara (皿、さら) – Plate

Example: お皿を四皿下さい。おさらを よんさら ください。(Please give me four plates.)


9) Mai (枚、まい) – Thin flat objects, such as sheets of paper, photographs, etc.

Example: この飾りを作るのに、折り紙を2枚使いました。このかざりを つくるのに おりがみを にまい つかいました。(I used 2 origami papers to make this decoration.)


10) Pai, Bai (杯、ぱい、ばい) – Cups and glasses of drink.

Example: 牛乳を3杯飲みました。ぎゅうにゅうを さんばい のみました。(I drank three cups of milk.)


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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.


  1. radha:

    Very useful,as always.This is really a no nonsense blog.