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 different things. However, numbers past 10 generally always use the sino pronunciations in modern Japanese, with some exceptions like 二十日 (はつか) or when fossilized in words such as 八百長 (やおちょう). To different degrees, Sino- and native numbering systems are also used in Vietnamese and Korean (and maybe others?). When did the Japanese start using Chinese numbers? When did native numbers past 10 fall into disuse?

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    Note that Vietnamese people generally don't use Sino-Vietnamese words for numbers/counting although the way to count is somewhat similar Jun 2, 2014 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


八百長 (やおちょう) is one word, if you extract first two "八百", it will become "はっぴゃく" (meaning - 800) there is no relation between those two.

Regarding the word "八百長" timeline, Wikipedia, and Gogen guide, it started to be used in the Meiji Era (1868–1912).

  • What about the other numbers? Like みそか and さんじゅうにち?
    – Nate Glenn
    Jun 1, 2011 at 1:59
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    Even though 八百 in isolation is not pronounced やお today, they still correspond within fixed expressions: 八百屋 (やおや), 八百万 (やおよろず).
    – user458
    Sep 17, 2011 at 18:04
  • I added more detail to my question. I did not want to know about the word "八百長", but about the historical usage of Sino-Japanese numbers.
    – Nate Glenn
    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:31

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