How To Say Your Age


 Numbers 1 through 10 are specially treated. That’s what I discussed in the previous blog. That is so true to how to count your age! Usually, “Numbers + -sai” is the formula for that, but unless you have to officially tell your children’s ages to some public officials, you say your children’s ages with all smiles! That is, what is called, “parent’s folly.”

 Issai (one year old) –> Hitotsu; Nisai (2) –> Futatsu; Sansai (3) –> Mittsu; Yonsai (4) –> Yottsu; Gosai (5) –> Itsutsu; Rokusai (6) –> Muttsu; Nanasai (7) –> Nanatsu; Hassai (8) –> Yattsu; Kyuusai (9) –> Kokonotsu; and Jussai (10) –> Too.

 Stranger: “(Otoshi-wa) (O)Ikutsu?” [“How old are you, dear?]

 A 3-year-old kiddo: “Mittsu.” [“3 years old, mum.”]

 By the way, “20-years-old” is very special in Japan. That’s because youngsters can officially smoke and/or drink, plus vote (In Japan, you don’t have to register to vote. That’s similar to Japanese educational system.)! Every year around mid-January (Used to be 15th of January – it’s one of the Japanese National Holidays) local governments hold big ceremonies called “Seijin Shiki (Ceremony for Come-of-Age Day).” Majority of girls attending the ceremony wear Kimonos called Furisode (Celebration Kimono for Single Women). The day for you to become 20 is so special for the very person and his family, you hear they say, “Hatachi-ni Narimashita. [I became 20 years old.]” On the other hand, you can get a driver’s license at the age of 18.


 (Map for Elections)