The particle は is pronounced similarly to わ (unlike the rest of the ハ行 kana) when used as a particle; why is this? What historical shifts went on to cause this irregularity?
In modern Japanese, the kana ゑ/ヱ (we) and ゐ/ヰ (wi) are largely obsolete. Words formerly containing them now are pronounced with /e/ and /i/, so they were replaced by え and い, respectively. But when ...
Japanese uses both native and Chinese numbering numbering systems, the Sino-Japanese pronunciations being いち, に, さん, etc. and the native being ひと, ふた, み, etc. For the most part they are used for ...
I had always thought that the Japanese didn't have a word for surrender before WWII. It seemed to be plausible given their culture. However, I can't seem to find any solid evidence of this. Is it just ...