Just to add some context: I was with a Japanese friend at a うどん and そば restaurant in 浅草 where they had a small sign by the counter to buy their fresh noodles. However, the size of the portion was not indicated by a weight in grams or anything like that, it was a kanji/counter/symbol that looked like a checkbox... Something like this : Strange kanji

If I remember well, he told me it was an old kanji that denotes a well-defined quantity of noodles, a bit like 一斤{いっきん} is used for a loaf of bread.

However, I have tried hand drawn kanji recognition without success, gone through a few counter and unit lists but none of them seem to mention it.

So is this thing a kanji ? How is it pronounced ?

Thanks a lot !


That is the 略字 for 枡, the square vessel used for sake and a measurement of volume.

EDIT: Punningly, also used as an abbreviation for the verb ending ーます during the Edo period:


  • Wow, really interesting!
    – istrasci
    Mar 1 '15 at 7:46

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