I have found this example, using the human counter:

In this movie, the two female ghosts who appear before the main character, a man who works as a potter, are both victims of a war-torn society. この映画で、主人公の陶工の男の前に姿を現す二人の女の幽霊は、共に戦乱の世の犠牲者。

However, I also see this as one definition for 位 :

い ( i ) 【位】

counter for ghosts

*Interestingly enough, I found the Japanese term for the Trinity is 三位一体 (さんみいったい)

If this counter is in fact used as a counter for ghosts, would someone be kind enough to demonstrate its usage?

  • i see this as well: crd.ndl.go.jp/reference/modules/d3ndlcrdentry/… – yadokari May 30 '13 at 3:40
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    Have you considered that 二人 could be counting 女 and not 幽霊? – Earthliŋ May 30 '13 at 15:41
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    Yes this example is far less than ideal but 人 can be used as a counter for ghosts. – yadokari May 30 '13 at 15:45
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    I don't think that 位 in 三位一体 is related to ghosts. 位 has other meanings relating to rank, order, and royalty (as in 位階, 順位, and 皇位 respectively). The 位 in this sense might be derived from one of these. The 大辞林 definition of 三位 lists it as 位格. If you follow the chains of definitions they all seem to lead directly to definitions specifically made for Christianity so I'm guessing that they just coopted these terms of rank and applied them to the trinity. – ssb May 31 '13 at 0:45
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    The original WWWJDIC entry appears to closely correspond to the entry in the "Green Goddess" (the big Kenkyusha J-E dictionary), and it's likely that it was based on the GG entry. Kenkyusha's definition is slightly more detailed and has an example, so I decided to type it up: 〔死者の霊を数えるのに用いる助数詞〕 the counter for the souls of deceased persons. ▷ 175位の英霊 the spirits of the hundred and seventy-five 「war dead [fallen heroes]. – snailplane May 31 '13 at 0:55

After some research




So far I found, 匹, 人, 体 and 柱. Seems to depend a lot on how people see ghosts.

| improve this answer | |
  • the link above says that 一人、二人 is used, the same as 生者... – yadokari May 30 '13 at 5:06
  • @yadokari seems there are many answers – oldergod May 30 '13 at 7:08
  • This seems to suggest that you can simply use the same counter as the original living entity. – キキジキ Apr 18 '14 at 13:27

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