How does one read the counter 種 in this dictionary entry?



There are three kinds of vexations harmful to human virtue: greed, anger, and ignorance.

According to the entry for 種 in Jim Breen's wwwjdic, two readings seem possible for "varieties":

種【くさ】 ; (n,n-suf) (2) variety; kind; (n,ctr) (3) counter for varieties

種【しゅ】 ; (n,n-suf) (1) kind; variety; (n,n-suf)

  • 1
    I’m not an expert, but the normal reading is 〜しゅ. I haven’t encountered the reading くさ before myself, but it seems like it’s an old reading that isn’t used much anymore. At least I think that’s the case.
    – Milten
    Oct 19, 2021 at 21:10
  • 1
    (Also note that, when the reading 〜くさ is actually used, it should be counted ひとくさ、ふたくさ、みくさ… )
    – Milten
    Oct 19, 2021 at 21:18
  • 三種{みくさ} in a dictionary.
    – Eddie Kal
    Oct 19, 2021 at 22:04
  • 1
    From my experience, 貪・瞋・痴 is pronounced とんじんち instead of とんしんち when grouped together as 三毒 .
    – dungarian
    Oct 20, 2021 at 7:04

1 Answer 1


In modern Japanese, 種 as a counter for kinds/species is always read しゅ. 3種 is さんしゅ.

くさ is an archaic counter that is no longer in use. You don't have to remember it unless you are studying archaic Japanese literature seriously.

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