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While reading Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's "In a Grove," I came across the sentence; 「山科の駅路からは、四五町ほど隔たって居りましょう。」山科 I understand to be a place and everything else is understandable for me other than 四五町. While doing further research, I learned that 町 when read as ちょう was a unit of measurement comparable to a mile. This leaves the question of the 四五 preceding it. What number is this referring to? There is no 十 in the text to make it 45, nor is there a comma separating them which would lead me to think it's meaning to be "four or five (measurements)." While this tiny bit is not crucial to understanding the text as a whole, I would like to have a better understanding of the author's intended meaning. I appreciate any response. Thank you in advance.

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四五町{しごちょう} = 4 to 5 町{ちょう}

According to デジタル大辞泉,

1町 = approx. 109 meters

Thus, 四五町 would be around 400-500 meters. That is how far the place in question is located from the main street (駅路).

町 is a unit of distance used often to describe "walking distances".

I learned that 町 when read as ちょう was a unit of measurement comparable to a mile.

Not sure where you found that. 4-5 miles seems way too long. That is like 15-16 times as long as 四五町.

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  • I see...It seems I was right in my first assumption of the meaning. Thank you specifically for the clarification. Could the same construction be used for different counters with the same meaning? ex. 四五つ or ニ三里 – nn1984K Jan 3 '20 at 19:02

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