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9

Googling the two terms in Japanese, there are a great deal of discussions among the Japanese about when to use which as clearly ambiguous to them as much as it is to you. One of such quoted the definitions from Dictionary of How to Count (『数え方の辞典』) written by Asako Iida (飯田朝子). ================ 【匹】 ・大型ではない生物全般。 ・小型の哺乳類。 ・小型の爬虫類、両棲類。 ・魚類。 【頭】 ・大型の哺乳類。 ...


7

This answer is supplementary, but using the counter 匹 for large animals is not so unnatural in daily conversations. For example, Google returns roughly the same number of results for "2匹の象" and "2頭の象". I haven't checked out each of the results, but it's very unlikely that all those people using 2匹の象 are elephant haters. If explicitly asked "what is the ...


21

There is certainly a reason for that. In this case, it is for expressing Yamane's (or the human kind's) derogatory feelings toward Godzilla. The counter 「[頭]{とう}」 simply does not carry that derogatory connotation among us Japanese-speakers; It can only be neutral. In case this is what you are wondering about, the size of Gozilla does not matter as ...



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