Counters IX: Counters with ヶ・ヵ

第215課: Counters IX: Counters with ヶ・ヵ

个 is the most commonly used measure word in Mandarin Chinese. This character is a simplified version of 箇, derived by taking one half of the 竹 radical. In Japanese,  个 is further reduced to ケ, which is then normally shrunk to ヶ. Appearance-wise, this glyph looks like a small Katakana ケ. However, the Katakana ケ actually derives from 介. The glyph ヶ is also treated as a variant of 個.

When used in counter phrases, ヶ is pronounced as “ka.” In government documents and news broadcasts, it is alternatively written as か. In other forms of publications such as the news or official documents at the workplace, it may also alternatively be written as カ or even ヵ.

The purpose of ヶ is to count things, but it can’t do this on its own. It is found as part of a handful of counters, all of which are frequently used. These counters will be the focus of this lesson.


As you can see, we have already familiarized ourselves with the first two counters in Lesson 49.

Lastly, after we have learned about these counters, we will conclude the lesson by learning about an exclusive purpose ヶ, alternatively written as a full-sized ケ, has in place names.

Spelling Notes:
1. The following outlets use か月: 読売新聞, NHK, 日本テレビ, and テレビ東京.
2. The following outlets use カ月: 朝日新聞, 毎日新聞, 日本経済新聞, 産経新聞, テレビ朝日, and フジテレビ.
3. The non-simplified spelling 箇 may also be seen in the spellings of the counters introduced in this lesson.

Reading Notes:
1. Because ヶ is also treated as an abbreviated form of 個, it can also stand for the counter 個. This, though, is only done based on personal preference.
2. At times in literature, カタカナ is sometimes used in 送り仮名. When this is the case, ケmay be shrunk to ヶ with no change in meaning or pronunciation. Meaning, it would be read as “ke” and would need to be distinguished from the ヶ discussed in this lesson. This use of a literal small ヶ can also be seen used in dialectical spelling.

Counters with ヶ・カ・か・ヵ


This counter is used to count a period of months.

 1 いっかげつ(かん) 2 にかげつ(かん)  3 さんかげつ(かん)
 4 よんかげつ(かん) 5 ごかげつ(かん) 6 ろっかげつ(かん)
 7 ななかげつ(かん) 8 はちかげつ(かん)
 9 きゅうかげつ(かん)
 10 じゅっかげつ(かん)
 100 ひゃっかげつ(かん) ? なんかげつ(かん)

1. 8はちげつやく5ばいになった計算けいさんだ。
This calculation shows it’s become approximately five times greater in eight months.

2. 異常気象いじょうきしょうすうげつでグリーンアノールを急速きゅうそく進化しんかさせた。
Extreme weather has made the green anole to rapidly evolve in a few months.

3. レギュラーガソリン、3さんげつぶりに値下ねさがり
First Price Decline for Regular Gasoline in Three Months

4. 「法定ほうてい12じゅうに月点検げつてんけん」ってかならじゅけなければいけないのでしょうか。
Must you always take the “Statutory 12-Month Inspection”?

5. 今回こんかいはこの5げつのダイエット生活せいかつかえってみたいとおもいます。
This time, I would like to look back at my dieting life for these past five months.


This counter translates as “over…years” and is frequently employed in legislation and business settings.

 1 いっかねん △ 2 にかねん 3 さんかねん 4 よんかねん
 5 ごかねん 6 ろっかねん 7 ななかねん 8 はちかねん
 9 きゅうかねん 10  じゅっかねん
 100 ひゃっかねん ? なんかねん

6. このさん年実施計画書ねんじっしけいかくしょもとづいて予算よさん編成へんせいします。
(We) will compile the budget based on this three-year implementation plan.

7. 道路整備どうろせいび年計画ねんけいかく決定けっていされた。
The five-year road maintenance plan was decided upon.

8. くに直轄工事ちょっかつこうじでは、年国債ねんこくさい活用かつようによって新規工事契約件数しんきこうじけいやくけんすうえた。
In government-controlled construction, the number of new construction contracts increased due to the application of two-year government bonds.

9. このろっ年計画ねんけいかく非現実性ひげんじつせいについて説明せつめいします。
I will explain the impracticality of this six-year plan.

10. 政府せいふは、がん研究けんきゅう10じっ年戦略ねんせんりゃく策定さくていした。
The government settled on the ten-year strategy for cancer research.


This counter counts the number of articles/clauses/sections in an official document. It may also be used to mean “points” as in “10 points to a happy marriage.” The noun for article/clause is 箇条, which is written with 箇 instead of with any of the abbreviated variants of the character.

 1 いっかじょう 2 にかじょう 3 さんかじょう
 4 よんかじょう 5 ごかじょう 6 ろっかじょう
 7 ななかじょう 8 はちかじょう
 9 きゅうかじょう
 10 じゅっかじょう
 100 ひゃっかじょう ? なんかじょう

11. しあわせになる100ひゃっじょう
The 100 Points to Becoming Happy

12. がんを防ぐための12か条
12 Point Guide to Preventing Cancer

13. 情報じょうほうセキュリティじょう
Five-Point Information Security

14. 放火防止ほうかぼうしじょう実践じっせんしましょう。
Let’s practice the five points to preventing arson.

15. 暴力団対応ぼうりょくだんたいおう12じゅうにじょう
Twelve Points to Handling Gangs

16. マイナンバーほう57ごじゅうななじょうあります。
The My Number Law has 57 clauses.

17. 憲法けんぽう全部ぜんぶ169ひゃくろくじゅうきゅうじょうあります。
The constitution has 169 clauses in total.

18. 権利けんり自由じゆうさだめた条文じょうぶん11じゅういっじょうあります。
The text has 11 clauses that establish rights and freedoms.

19. 現行憲法げんこうけんぽう全部ぜんぶ103ひゃくさんじょうあって、そのうち補足ほそく4よんじょうあります。
The current constitution has 103 clauses in total, and of those there are four complementary notes.

  This counter is used to count places/locations. As a noun, 箇所 means “passage/part.”

 1 いっかしょ 2 にかしょ 3 さんかしょ
 4 よんかしょ 5 ごかしょ 6 ろっかしょ
 7 ななかしょ 8 はちかしょ
 9 きゅうかしょ
 10 じゅっかしょ
 100 ひゃっかしょ ? なんかしょ

20. さん年前ねんまえはちがつ20はつ広島市内ひろしましない166ひゃくろくじゅうろっしょ土石流どせきりゅう崖崩がけくずれが発生はっせいし、77ななじゅうななにん死亡しぼうしました。
77 people died in the debris flows and the landslides that occurred in 166 places within Hiroshima City three years ago on August 20th.

21. 23さんしょあやまりがあります。
There are two or three areas with mistakes.

22. 見直みなおされた避難所ひなんじょ1いっしょもありません。
There is not a single shelter that has been re-examined.

23.  3さん所以上しょいじょう医療機関いりょうきかん通院つういんしている高齢者こうれいしゃ9きゅうわりが、慢性疾患まんせいしっかんくすり5種類以上処方しゅるいいじょうしょほうされている。
Nine-tenths of elderly patients being regularly treated at over three medial institutions are being prescribed over five kinds of chronic illness medication.

24. ポケストップを10じゅっ所連続しょれんぞくまわりました。
I visited ten Pokestops in a row.

This counter is used to count countries/nations.

 1 いっかこく 2 にかこく 3 さんかこく
 4 よんかこく 5 ごかこく 6 ろっかこく
 7 ななかこく 8 はちかこく
 9 きゅうかこく
 10 じゅっかこく
 100 ひゃっかこく ? なんかこく

25. 現在げんざいOECDオーイーシーディー加盟国かめいこく35さんじゅうごこくとなっています。
Currently, there are thirty-five member states in the OECD.

26. 世界せかいくにかずなんこく
What is the number of countries in the world?

27. パレスチナにかんしては、日本政府にっぽんせいふ国家承認こっかしょうにんしていないが、すでにやく130ひゃくさんじゅっこくがパレスティナを承認しょうにんしている。
Regarding Palestine, although the Japanese government does not recognize it as a state, there are already approximately 130 nations that have recognized Palestine.

28. アジア3さんこくまたが洪水こうずいやく300さんびゃくにん死亡しぼうした。
Approximately 300 people have died in the flooding that has spanned three Asian countries.

29. 世界せかい10じゅっ国以上こくいじょう愛用あいようされている。
It is habitually used in over ten countries in the world.

In set phrases, especially those related to history and international politics, nations may be counted with 国.  

30. オーストリアとカナダは二国間関係にこくかんかんけいむすんでいる。
Australia and Canada have bilateral relations.

31. アメリカとのこくかんゆう貿ぼうえききょうていじつげんするのか。
Will a bilateral free trade agreement realize with America?

32. バルト三国さんごくは、バルトかい東岸とうがん、フィンランドのみなみ南北なんぼくなら3みっつのくにす。
The Baltic States refers to the three countries lined up north to south to the south of Finland on the east coast of the Baltic Sea.

Grammar Note: Notice how “the three countries” is expressed with 3つの国. This is another means of counting countries that is occasionally used.


This counter is used to count languages. However, as is implied by the spelling, this usually only refers to languages that are national languages. Because of this, counting languages with 言語, the word for “language,” is deemed most appropriate whenever national status is not a concern with the languages one is counting.


 1 いっかこくご 2 にかこくご 3 さんかこくご
 4 よんかこくご 5 ごかこくご 6 ろっかこくご
 7 ななかこくご 8 はちかこくご
 9 きゅうかこくご
 10 じゅっかこくご
 100 ひゃっかこくご ? なんかこくご


 1 いちげんご 2 にげんご 3 さんげんご
 4 よんげんご 5 ごげんご 6 ろくげんご
 7 ななげんご 8 はちげんご 9 きゅうげんご
 10 じゅうげんご 100 ひゃくげんご ? なんげんご

33. 国語こくごはなひとのことをバイリンガルとびますが、さん国語こくご話者わしゃをトライリンガルもしくはトリリンガルとびます。
We call people who speak two languages bilingual, but we call speakers of three languages trilingual. 

34. 2言語併記げんごへいき標識ひょうしき看板かんばんなどが設置せっちされている。
Bilingual signs and billboards are installed.

35. ヘルシンキ市内しないには30さんじゅっ国語こくごおしえる学校がっこうもある。
There is also a school in Helsinki that teaches thirty languages.

36. この地域ちいきでは15じゅうご言語げんご使用しようされている。
There are fifteen languages used in this region.

37. 英語えいご・フランス・オランダ3さん国語こくごおしえる学校がっこうとなりました。
The school has become a school that teaches the three languages English, French, and Dutch.

38. 日本政府にっぽんせいふからの情報番組じょうほうばんぐみ国語放送こくごほうそう)をご紹介しょうかいします。
Here is an introduction to an information program (five-language broadcast) from the Japanese government.

39. かれはプログラミング言語げんごふくめて、10じゅう言語話げんごはなせるらしい。
He apparently knows ten languages, including also programming languages.

40. SOVエスオーブイがた一番多いちばんおお565ごひゃくろくじゅうご言語げんごいでSVOエスブイオーがた488よんひゃくはちじゅうはち言語げんごである。
The SOV pattern is the one with the most languages with 565, following it is the SVO pattern with 488. 

Place Names: ヶ・ケ

When ヶ, alternatively spelled as ケ, is used in places names, especially those found in East Japan, it stands in place of a classical usage of the particle が, which is to mark the possessive case. In this sense, it is equivalent to the particle の. Not all place names with this が are written with these glyphs, though. Sometimes it’s just written as が・ガ.   

 Sekigahara  関ケ原 Hatogaya 鳩ヶ谷 Tsutsujigaoka つつじヶ丘
 Chigasaki 茅ヶ崎 Shichigahama 七ヶ浜 Aogashima 青ヶ島
 Yatsugatake 八ヶ岳 Kamagaya 鎌ケ谷 Kasumigaseki 霞が関