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The Kanji 八, eight

This is 5 Minute Kanji, and today we are going to go over a cruising kanji this time, the kanji for eight.


YO! You want to party on my 8 YATTSU? I’ll pop the HACHI and let you inside.




yattsu, yatsu, you

Like the other number kanji, the onyomi is used when counting up in Japanese, while the kunyomi やっつ is used as a generic counter for objects that don’t have a specific counter.

Mnemonic Factory

The kanji looks like a stick being broke in HAlf. Or possibly a HACHI, a hat. Or it could even be the sails of a one of the YATTSU in your fleet.

The onyomi mnemonic might be a bit tough for this one. We have the HACHI or hatch from the intro or HOt CHI or hot tea, or possibly a burning inner life force. You may also put some HOt CHIzu on your food.

For kunyomi, you are much more limited in your choices. It really comes down to YATTSU, as in the boat and YO! As in YO mamma so fat she needs 8 YATTSU to keep her from sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

Example Words

How about a few examples where these words are used?

For onyomi, we have はち for 8. As I said in earlier videos, the kanji itself is rarely used in everyday situations. You will most likely see it on formal documents, awards, or price lists at old fashioned restaurants. Like the other number kanji, the month is the onyomi plus がつ, so to talk about August, we would say 八月はちがつ. We also have 八人はちにん for 8 people.

There is the generic counter やっつ, used to count objects that don’t have a counter of their own or you forgot which one to use. It can also be pronounced やつ, without the っ (chiisai tsu).

There is an unusual word that is often used in Japan to refer to snack time and that is おやつ, sometimes translated as “tea time.” It usually refers to the time after lunch but before dinner when people eat a light snack, often with coffee or tea. The reason for this is that according to the old time system, what we call 2 o’clock now was actually referred to as the 8th time period. Today, the kanji is rarely if ever used though.

Like most of the other number kanji the day of the month is irregular. You would say 八日ようか. There is also a fairly unique word – 八百屋やおや, literally 800 shop, but this actually refers to a greengrocer. Although not common in a lot of other developed countries, you can still find a few greengrocers here and there in Japan, and this word, written in kana, might appear on the N5 test.

Story Review

Can you remember the story from the beginning? Let’s give it a try, and yell out the words that are missing.

__! You want to party on my _ ______? I’ll pop the _____ and let you inside.

Perfect? Let’s give it another try.

__! You want to party on my _ ______? I’ll pop the _____ and let you inside.

Word Review

Can you read these? I’ll give you the kanji and please yell out the reading for each word







Again, the kanji for おやつ is rarely used though. This is more of a trivia fact than something you will be tested on.

That’s it for the kanji for eight. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. If you’d like to learn more kanji, hit the subscribe button and hit the bell mark to get a notification every time I send out a new video. Also be sure to check out my other 5 Minute Kanji videos.