The four cardinal directions are the directions north, east, south, and west. The intermediate directions are northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest. In English it would be incorrect to say eastnorth, for example. But in Japanese 東北 (literally eastnorth) and 西北 (literally westnorth) are quite right (BUT 南東 and 南西!)
Which directions are considered primary and intermediate in Japan? If everything is just the same as in the West, why do we say 東北, not 北東, and 西北 instead of 北西?