Recently I learned what the days of the week are and noticed "kinyobi" 金曜日. I'd like to know where the term "gold" relates to. Were people in ancient Japan paid at Friday each week?

  • FYI ancient Japanese weren't paid by week. The week-based lifestyle is a modern import from Western societies, though the week itself was introduced much earlier. May 1, 2015 at 13:23

2 Answers 2


金 in 金曜日 refers to Venus (金星). In fact, "Fri" in "Friday" also refers to Venus, also known as Frige's star. Both are almost certainly derived from the Roman names for the days of the week.

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    Minor point -- the English weekday names Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday all come from Germanic roots, not Roman: Tuesday from the Germanic god Týr (Tiw in Old English), Wednesday from Odin, Thursday from Thor, and Friday from Frige (with the "g" pronounced like a "y", a.k.a. Freyja or Frigg in the Norse pantheon). That said, the particular gods chosen, and the order, were probably influenced some by the Romans. Aug 27, 2016 at 22:28
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi, yep, Saturday is our only day that does not have Germanic origins.
    – bcloutier
    Aug 27, 2016 at 23:05
  • Derived from the "Roman names" is not enough accurate, because Japanese people never had contact with Rome. Days of the week are Greek invention, then transmitted through Central Asia and/or India. Aug 28, 2016 at 6:41

In addition to Zhen Lin's point, it is also worth noting that the Japanese names for the days of the week come from Chinese, and classical concepts of the five elements: fire (火), water (水), wood (木), metal (金), and earth (土), plus the two primary celestial bodies, the sun (日) and the moon (月).

Read more about the classical Chinese five elements in the Wu Xing article on Wikipedia.

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