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I'm curious what the numerical base the Japanese used before their introduction to the wider western world.

I've been taught in my Japanese language classes that they move the comma to a different place (1'0000 rather than 1,000) but that's just a question of notation and have learned that there have been a great number of loan words in Japanese.

I'm curious what they used before they met the Portuguese, for example, in 1543.

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See the Wikipedia article on counting rods. –  snailboat Mar 27 '13 at 2:34
    
Wikipedia has a list of cultures that use (or used) bases other than 10. –  Quppa Mar 27 '13 at 2:55

1 Answer 1

You may wish to read Japanese numerals. So 1'0000 is called , which is also used in Greek as myriad.

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