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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,651,900


In Language samurai | how many days in a month? Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #120 New 06-06-2012 10:33 AM
samurai | how many days in a month?
Prayer /// Red Vector Thoughts by Vector Hugo

The other day someone asked me how you remember the number of days in the months in English. We use this little rhyme. It sounds very old. The rhyme one with alone could come from Shakespeare.
Thirty days has September
April, June and November
All the rest have thirty-one
Except February alone
I found that there is a mnemonic using knuckles too. When you count out all the months though there are a couple of knuckles left over so - no. There has to be a more satisfactory solution.

In Japan they use a very short sentence:

nishi muku samurai

2 4 6 9 11
Ni shi mu and ku are ways of pronouncing 2 4 6 and 9. That's called goroawase. I talked about it briefly in tokyo sky tree.

Samurai is not the usual kanji for samurai 侍. It's the shi 士 from bushi 武士, another word for samurai. It's also used as a suffix meaning scholar in words for professions like bengoshi - lawyer - and keirishi - accountant. The Japanese letter 士 looks like the letters for ten 十 plus one 一. Or eleven.

So Japanese people remember that all the months have 31 days except the second, fourth, sixth, ninth and eleventh.

So wow. I look at it in admiration. Short, elegant and cool. Perfect. You probably won't forget it now either.


article about this mnemonic


cool illustration: Prayer /// Red Vector Thoughts by Vector Hugo

my home page with a mirror of these blog posts plus other stuff: mooninthewater.net/aikido

my columns on aikiweb

niall matthews 2012
Views: 4439 | Comments: 2

RSS Feed 2 Responses to "samurai | how many days in a month?"
#2 06-11-2012 10:46 AM
niall Says:
Thank you as always Francis for adding to the discussion. The Japanese calendar was original but when the Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1873 it became more or less aligned with the western calendar. Niall
#1 06-08-2012 11:30 AM
aikishihan Says:
Now that we are all in a daze, can you confirm whether the Japanese system was original to its history, or a modification to match the Western approach to mapping out the year in days? Keep up the good work, Niall, for it is very much appreciated.

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