For current time the Kanji 今{いま} for "now" can always used. Why is it that Kanji for previous (去 / 昨 / 先) and next (来 / 明) times are different and have irregular readings? In some cases it is incorrect to use the other Kanji. Is there a historical or linguistic reason for this?

.  year      month week day    night

last 去年{きょねん} / 昨年{さくねん}  先月{せんげつ} 先週{せんしゅう} 昨日{きのう}    昨晩{さくばん} / 前夜{ぜんや}

this 今年{ことし}      今月{こんげつ} 今週{こんしゅう} 今日{きょう} / 本日{ほんじつ}   今晩{こんばん}

next 来年{らいねん} / 明年{みょうねん} 来月{らいげつ} 来週{らいしゅう} 明日{あした} / 明日{あす}  明夜{みょうや}

  • 本 also means "this" as in 本日、本年度、etc. Are you differentiating between this and now?
    – By137
    Aug 14 '20 at 5:16
  • 1
    And 今's readings in its various words aren't particularly "regular"
    – Leebo
    Aug 14 '20 at 5:17

This site is temporarily in read only mode and not accepting new answers.

Browse other questions tagged .