11 Februari, 2010

[hang nadim]Japanese

Japanese counter word
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In Japanese, counter words or counters (josūshi 助数詞) are used along with numbers to count things, actions, and events.

In Japanese, as in Chinese and Korean, numerals cannot quantify nouns by themselves (except, in certain cases, for the numbers from one to ten; see below). For example, to express the idea "two dogs" in Japanese one must say inu nihiki (犬二匹, literally "dog two-small-animal"). Here inu 犬 means "dog", ni 二 is the number 2, and hiki 匹 is the counter for small animals. These counters are not independent words and always appear with a number before them.

Counters are similar in function to the word "pieces" in "two pieces of paper" and "cup" in "two cups of coffee". They differ, however, in that they cannot take non-numerical modifiers. So where "two pieces of paper" translates fairly directly as "paper two-flat-pieces", the phrase "two white pieces of paper" requires the addition of another noun to accept the modifier: "paper white sheet[s] two-flat-pieces."

In Japanese, virtually all nouns must use a counter to express number. In this sense, virtually all Japanese nouns are mass nouns. This grammatical feature can result in situations where one is unable to express the number of a particular object in a syntactically correct way because one does not know, or cannot remember, the appropriate counting word. With quantities from one to ten, this problem can often be sidestepped by using the traditional numbers (see below), which can quantify many nouns without help. For example, "four apples" is ringo yonko (りんご四個) where ko (個) is the counter), but can also be expressed, using the traditional numeral four, as ringo yottsu (りんご四つ). These traditional numerals cannot be used to count all nouns, however; some, including nouns for people and animals, require a proper counter.

Counters may be intentionally misused for humorous, sarcastic, or insulting effects. For example, one might say 男一匹なのに (Otoko ippiki nano ni; "I am only one man..."). Using hiki (匹), the counter for small animals, humorously suggests that the person is overpowered by massive obstacles.

Some of the more common counters may substitute for less common ones. For example, 匹 hiki (see below) is often used for all animals, regardless of size. However, many speakers will prefer to use the traditionally correct counter, 頭 tō, when speaking of larger animals such as horses.

Just as in English, different counters can be used to convey different types of quantity. In English, one can say one loaf of bread or one slice of bread. In Japanese, the equivalents would be パン一斤 pan ikkin ("bread one-loaf") and パン一枚 pan ichimai ("bread one-flat piece").

Table of the traditional numerals
Numeral Japanese Pronunciation (romaji) Pronunciation (hiragana)
1 一つ hitotsu ひとつ
2 二つ futatsu ふたつ
3 三つ mittsu みっつ
4 四つ yottsu よっつ
5 五つ itsutsu いつつ
6 六つ muttsu むっつ
7 七つ nanatsu ななつ
8 八つ yattsu やっつ
9 九つ kokonotsu ここのつ
10 十 tō とお

Flag of Japan
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Flag of Japan
Name Nisshōki[1] or Hinomaru[2]
Use Civil and state flag and ensign
Proportion 2:3
Adopted August 13, 1999 (Heisei 11)
February 27, 1870 (January 27, Meiji 3 in the Japanese calendar) (as the civil ensign by Proclamation No. 57)
Design A red sun-disc centered on a white field
The national flag of Japan is a white rectangular flag with a large red disc (representing the sun) in the center. This flag is officially called Nisshōki (日章旗?, "sun-mark flag") in Japanese, but is more commonly known as Hinomaru (日の丸?, "sun disc").

The Nisshōki flag is designated as the national flag in Law Regarding the National Flag and National Anthem, which was promulgated and became effective on August 13, 1999. Although no earlier legislation had specified a national flag, the sun-disc flag had already become the de facto national flag of Japan. Two proclamations issued in 1870 by the Daijō-kan, the governmental body of the early Meiji Era, each had a provision for a design of the national flag. A sun-disc flag was adopted as the national flag for merchant ships under Proclamation No. 57 of Meiji 3 (issued on February 27, 1870), and as the national flag used by Navy under Proclamation No. 651 of Meiji 3 (issued on October 27, 1870). Use of the Hinomaru was severely restricted during the early years of the American occupation after World War II, although restrictions were later relaxed.

In early Japanese history, the Hinomaru motif was used on flags of daimyos and samurai. During the Meiji Restoration, both the sun disc and the Rising Sun Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy became major symbols in the emerging Japanese empire. Various propaganda posters, textbooks, and films depicted the flag as a source of pride and patriotism to the Japanese. In Japanese homes, citizens were required to display the flag during national holidays, celebrations, and other occasions, as decreed by the government. Different tokens of devotion to Japan and to the emperor featuring the Hinomaru motif became popular during the Second Sino-Japanese War and other conflicts. These ranged from slogans written on the flag to clothing items and dishes that resembled the flag.

Public perception about the national flag varies. To some Japanese, the flag represents Japan, and no other flag could take its place. However, the flag is not frequently displayed due to its association with extreme nationalism. The use of the flag and the national anthem Kimigayo have been a contentious issue for Japan's public schools since the end of World War II. Disputes about their use have led to protests, lawsuits, and at least one suicide in Hiroshima Prefecture.

To Okinawans, the flag represents the events of World War II that took place there and the U.S. military presence afterward. For nations occupied by Japan, the flag is a symbol of aggression and imperialism. The Hinomaru was used as a weapon against occupied nations for purposes of intimidation or subjugation. During protests against Japanese foreign policy, such as revisionism or territorial claims, the flag was burned by Chinese and Koreans in their respective countries. Despite the negative connotations, Western and Japanese sources claim the flag is a powerful and enduring symbol to the Japanese. Several military banners of Japan are based on the Hinomaru, including the sunrayed Naval Ensign. The Hinomaru also serves as a template for other Japanese flags in public and private use.

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