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


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 '18 at 0:41
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    Tibetan also uses this system. – R.. Jul 11 '18 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 '18 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 '18 at 10:05

this has nothing to do with japanese, but you can find the planets also in the weekdays of other languages and interestingly, it is not always the same ones. i found that with spanish (or any other romanic language) and english together you can derive all planets:

monday - lunes: luna = moon

tuesday - martes -> mars

wednesday - miércoles -> mercury

thursday - jueves -> jupiter

friday - viernes -> venus

saturday -> saturn (sabado in spanish)

sunday -> sun (domingo in spanish)

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