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Counting, a Japanese Gesture

When Japanese are counting on their fingers, they use only one hand, starting with the fingers outspread and folding in the thumb, forefinger, middle finger, ring finger, and little finger for one through five; six through ten being the exact reverse as the little finger, ring finger, and so on are unfolded. This is the most commonly used method regardless of sex or age.

Counting, a Japanese Gesture

indicating number 9

To indicate numbers to another person, it is customary to raise one hand with the palm outward and the appropriate number of fingers raised: starting with the forefinger for one and then adding, in order, the middle finger, the ring finger, the little finger, and finally the thumb. To count up to ten the fingers of the other hand are added in the same manner.


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