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I was studying the names of the planets and noticed some similarities. Are the days of the week named after the planets?

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1 Answer 1

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Yes, they are, and it comes from Western Influence.

日曜, 月曜, 火曜, 水曜, 木曜, 金曜, 土曜 are Classical Chinese names for the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn, respectively.

English names for the days of the week are mostly Germanic names for the same planets. Sunday, Monday, and Saturday are obvious, but we have

  • Tuesday (Norse: Tiw for Mars)
  • Wednesday (Norse: Odin; Old English: Wōden for Mercury)
  • Thursday (Norse: Thor for Jupiter)
  • Friday (Norse: Frigg for Venus)

Chinese no longer uses this name scheme, but Korean and Japanese still use this system.

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    Extraneous detail: Saturday came from a Latin word, not Norse, and the Norse words mentioned are not the Norse names of their planets but the Norse gods which had Roman equivalents named Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus.
    – dROOOze
    Jul 11, 2018 at 0:41
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    Tibetan also uses this system. Jul 11, 2018 at 2:12
  • Can you clarify? Since you say that traditional chinese names for the planets are used for the naming of the days of the week, then how does this relate to western influence (of course China is west of Japan, but normally this s not called western influence, or is it?)
    – lalala
    Jul 11, 2018 at 9:42
  • @lalala This is an influence of naming days of the week since Ancient Greek times, that was transferred to China, then brought to Japan. This is the western influence.
    – dROOOze
    Jul 11, 2018 at 10:05
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    @lalala The days of the week being named after planets (which in turn, the greeks identified with gods) is a western influence, whereas the planets being referred to by their classical Chinese names is a Chinese influence.
    – jarmanso7
    Sep 13, 2019 at 12:39

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