Discussion:
kou-otsu-hei means ABC, 123?
(too old to reply)
Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
2003-11-12 00:07:42 UTC
Permalink
I noticed the above entry in EDICT, "kou-otsu-hei" means "ABC, 123". Why?

Ken
Bart Mathias
2003-11-12 01:49:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
I noticed the above entry in EDICT, "kou-otsu-hei" means "ABC,
123". Why?
I'm not sure what you're questioning, but maybe the answer is
"Tradition."

The Japanese imitated the Chinese in using the "Ten Stems" for
enumeration.

Why not just go ahead and use the numerals? Well, why do we use
"A,B,C" sometimes?

The Japanese have also (I think, but this could be dementia) used the
names of the chapters of Genjimonogatari for ordering things. This
is purely their own invention; most Chinese couldn't even read that
book.

Bart
Nagare Mitarai
2003-11-12 01:53:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
I noticed the above entry in EDICT, "kou-otsu-hei" means "ABC, 123". Why?
Ken
As far as I know, teachers used to give grades on the "kou-otsu-hei" basis
at school (maybe until World War II). Now, as you might know, it has been
replaced with the numbers 1 through 3 or 5, or the alphabets A through E or
whatever.
We may still see the "kou-otsu-hei" form used in the contract with a real
estate firm in the way like "The Renter (hereafter referred to as KOU)....
the Landlord (hereafter referred to as OTSU)....."

Hope I took your question right.
Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
2003-11-12 06:15:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nagare Mitarai
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
I noticed the above entry in EDICT, "kou-otsu-hei" means "ABC, 123". Why?
Ken
As far as I know, teachers used to give grades on the "kou-otsu-hei" basis
at school (maybe until World War II). Now, as you might know, it has been
replaced with the numbers 1 through 3 or 5, or the alphabets A through E or
whatever.
We may still see the "kou-otsu-hei" form used in the contract with a real
estate firm in the way like "The Renter (hereafter referred to as KOU)....
the Landlord (hereafter referred to as OTSU)....."
Hope I took your question right.
Thanks, that was half my question. The second half is how did "kou"
become equal to 1/A, "otsu" 2/B, "hei" 3/C? I can't see why the three
kanji represent some sort of ordering. I also don't understand the
reasoning for the "i-ro-ha" ordering, and are the two systems
connected somehow?

Ken
Chris Kern
2003-11-12 06:42:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Thanks, that was half my question. The second half is how did "kou"
become equal to 1/A, "otsu" 2/B, "hei" 3/C? I can't see why the three
kanji represent some sort of ordering.
Has to do with the Chinese almanac, right? I don't really remember...
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
I also don't understand the
reasoning for the "i-ro-ha" ordering, and are the two systems
connected somehow?
The i-ro-ha ordering comes from a poem that uses all the kana (at
least all the kana at the time). I think it's arbitrary except for
that poem.

-Chris
necoandjeff
2003-11-12 17:22:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Post by Nagare Mitarai
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
I noticed the above entry in EDICT, "kou-otsu-hei" means "ABC, 123". Why?
Ken
As far as I know, teachers used to give grades on the "kou-otsu-hei" basis
at school (maybe until World War II). Now, as you might know, it has been
replaced with the numbers 1 through 3 or 5, or the alphabets A through E or
whatever.
We may still see the "kou-otsu-hei" form used in the contract with a real
estate firm in the way like "The Renter (hereafter referred to as KOU)....
the Landlord (hereafter referred to as OTSU)....."
Hope I took your question right.
Thanks, that was half my question. The second half is how did "kou"
become equal to 1/A, "otsu" 2/B, "hei" 3/C? I can't see why the three
kanji represent some sort of ordering. I also don't understand the
reasoning for the "i-ro-ha" ordering, and are the two systems
connected somehow?
Iroha comes from a Japanese poem that uses each kana only once. Here it is
in hiragana:

いろはにほへとちりぬるをわかよたれそつねならむ
うゐのおくやまけふこえてあさきゆめみしゑひもせす

and in kanji:

色は匂へど散りぬるを我が世誰ぞ常ならむ
有為の奥山今日越えて浅き夢見じ酔ひもせず

Jeff
Phil Healey
2003-11-12 20:36:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nagare Mitarai
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Post by Nagare Mitarai
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
I noticed the above entry in EDICT, "kou-otsu-hei" means "ABC, 123".
Why?
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Post by Nagare Mitarai
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Ken
As far as I know, teachers used to give grades on the "kou-otsu-hei"
basis
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Post by Nagare Mitarai
at school (maybe until World War II). Now, as you might know, it has
been
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Post by Nagare Mitarai
replaced with the numbers 1 through 3 or 5, or the alphabets A through E
or
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Post by Nagare Mitarai
whatever.
We may still see the "kou-otsu-hei" form used in the contract with a
real
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Post by Nagare Mitarai
estate firm in the way like "The Renter (hereafter referred to as
KOU)....
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Post by Nagare Mitarai
the Landlord (hereafter referred to as OTSU)....."
Hope I took your question right.
Thanks, that was half my question. The second half is how did "kou"
become equal to 1/A, "otsu" 2/B, "hei" 3/C? I can't see why the three
kanji represent some sort of ordering. I also don't understand the
reasoning for the "i-ro-ha" ordering, and are the two systems
connected somehow?
Iroha comes from a Japanese poem that uses each kana only once. Here it is
いろはにほへとちりぬるをわかよたれそつねならむ
うゐのおくやまけふこえてあさきゆめみしゑひもせす
Ordered in segments of five and seven syllables, it would be:

色は匂へど 7
散りぬるを 5
我が世誰ぞ 6*
常ならむ 5
有為の奥山 7
今日越えて 5
浅き夢見じ 7
酔ひもせず 5

*I think 誰 used to be た (as in 誰(た)がために鐘は鳴る - _For Whom
the Bell Tolls_), which would make this line five syllables, but would
then leave out れ. On the other hand, if it were たれ and there were
another syllable in there (like ん which is absent from the poem) わかよ
んたれそ, for instance, it would be seven syllables, providing a
consistent metric (syllabic?) structure to the poem: 7-5-7-5-7-5-7-5.
necoandjeff
2003-11-12 20:56:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
Post by Nagare Mitarai
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
I noticed the above entry in EDICT, "kou-otsu-hei" means "ABC, 123". Why?
Ken
As far as I know, teachers used to give grades on the "kou-otsu-hei" basis
at school (maybe until World War II). Now, as you might know, it has been
replaced with the numbers 1 through 3 or 5, or the alphabets A through E or
whatever.
We may still see the "kou-otsu-hei" form used in the contract with a real
estate firm in the way like "The Renter (hereafter referred to as KOU)....
the Landlord (hereafter referred to as OTSU)....."
Hope I took your question right.
Thanks, that was half my question. The second half is how did "kou"
become equal to 1/A, "otsu" 2/B, "hei" 3/C? I can't see why the three
kanji represent some sort of ordering. I also don't understand the
reasoning for the "i-ro-ha" ordering, and are the two systems
connected somehow?
As others have pointed out, the kou otsu stuff most often comes up nowadays
in things like contracts, if anything. However, I've come across it
extensively in my history readings.

There is a concept in Japanese (this all comes from Chinese of course) known
as the Jikkan (十干). They are the following ten kanji:

甲乙丙丁戊己庚辛壬癸

I'm not sure of the exact origin for these or what the significance of each
kanji is but they used to be used in combination with the 12 signs of the
Chinese zodiac (see below) for counting days, hours, etc. The jikkkan can be
pronounced in one of two ways. The first (and most common?) is to use their
respective onyomi: こう、おつ、へい、てい、ぼ、き、こう、しん、じん and き
respectively. The other way is to use the pronunciation of the five
elements: 木火土金水 (き、ひ、つち、か and みず) alternating with a yang (兄
or え) and ying (弟 or と) to give you: きのえ、きのと、ひのえ、ひのと、つち
のえ、つちのと、かのえ、かのと、みずのえ and みずのと respectively. (Note
these are pronunciations for each individual kanji. In other words, 甲 would
be pronounced "hinoe," 乙 would be pronounced "hinoto," etc. The stuff about
the five elements and ying and yang is just to give the origin of those
pronunciations.)

Along with jikkan is a related concept known as the 十二支 じゅうにし. These
are the twelve Chinese zodiac signs that we're probably all familiar with:

子(し,rat)、丑(ちゅう,ox)、寅(いん,tiger)、卯(ぼう,rabbit)、辰(しん
,dragon)、巳(し,snake)、午(ご,horse)、未(び,sheep)、申(しん
,monkey)、酉(ゆう,rooster)、戌(じゅつ,dog)、亥(がい,boar)

Jeff
necoandjeff
2003-11-12 21:10:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by necoandjeff
be pronounced "hinoe," 乙 would be pronounced "hinoto," etc. The stuff about
the five elements and ying and yang is just to give the origin of those
pronunciations.)
Correction: 甲 would be pronounced "kinoe" and 乙 would be pronounced
"kinoto." Sorry.

Jeff
necoandjeff
2003-11-12 21:24:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by necoandjeff
As others have pointed out, the kou otsu stuff most often comes up nowadays
in things like contracts, if anything. However, I've come across it
extensively in my history readings.
There is a concept in Japanese (this all comes from Chinese of course) known
甲乙丙丁戊己庚辛壬癸
I'm not sure of the exact origin for these or what the significance of each
kanji is but they used to be used in combination with the 12 signs of the
Chinese zodiac (see below) for counting days, hours, etc. The jikkkan can be
pronounced in one of two ways. The first (and most common?) is to use their
respective onyomi: こう、おつ、へい、てい、ぼ、き、こう、しん、じん and き
respectively. The other way is to use the pronunciation of the five
elements: 木火土金水 (き、ひ、つち、か and みず) alternating with a yang (兄
or え) and ying (弟 or と) to give you: きのえ、きのと、ひのえ、ひのと、つ

Post by necoandjeff
のえ、つちのと、かのえ、かのと、みずのえ and みずのと respectively. (Note
these are pronunciations for each individual kanji. In other words, 甲 would
be pronounced "hinoe," 乙 would be pronounced "hinoto," etc. The stuff about
the five elements and ying and yang is just to give the origin of those
pronunciations.)
Along with jikkan is a related concept known as the 十二支 じゅうにし. These
子(し,rat)、丑(ちゅう,ox)、寅(いん,tiger)、卯(ぼう,rabbit)、辰(し

Post by necoandjeff
,dragon)、巳(し,snake)、午(ご,horse)、未(び,sheep)、申(しん
,monkey)、酉(ゆう,rooster)、戌(じゅつ,dog)、亥(がい,boar)
Incidentally, jikkan and juunishi are apparently known in Chinese as the ten
"heavenly stems" (天干) and the twelve "earthly branches" (地支),
respectively. The choice of kanji is either arbitrary or happened so long
ago that we no longer know why. See this page for more:

http://uk.geocities.com/BabelStone1357/Calendar/

Jeff
necoandjeff
2003-11-12 21:44:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by necoandjeff
子(し,rat)、丑(ちゅう,ox)、寅(いん,tiger)、卯(ぼう,rabbit)、辰(し

Post by necoandjeff
,dragon)、巳(し,snake)、午(ご,horse)、未(び,sheep)、申(しん
,monkey)、酉(ゆう,rooster)、戌(じゅつ,dog)、亥(がい,boar)
One last point: I should have given the more common readings for the twelve
zodiacs rather than just the onyomi. They are:

子(ね)
丑(うし)
寅(とら)
卯(う)
辰(たつ)
巳(み)
午(うま)
未(ひつじ)
申(さる)
酉(とり)
戌(いぬ)
亥(い)
Daniel
2003-11-12 08:58:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nagare Mitarai
Post by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
I noticed the above entry in EDICT, "kou-otsu-hei" means "ABC, 123". Why?
Ken
As far as I know, teachers used to give grades on the "kou-otsu-hei" basis
at school (maybe until World War II). Now, as you might know, it has been
replaced with the numbers 1 through 3 or 5, or the alphabets A through E or
whatever.
We may still see the "kou-otsu-hei" form used in the contract with a real
estate firm in the way like "The Renter (hereafter referred to as KOU)....
the Landlord (hereafter referred to as OTSU)....."
Hope I took your question right.
I've seen KOU and OTSU used in contracts and about the only other
place is very occasionally in print in the phrase 'kouotsu tsukegatai'
which means that
two things are both so good it's hard to say which is better.

Daniel
ueshiba
2003-11-12 14:36:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nagare Mitarai
We may still see the "kou-otsu-hei" form used in the contract with a real
estate firm in the way like "The Renter (hereafter referred to as KOU)....
the Landlord (hereafter referred to as OTSU)....."
多分より広く、「(現在では)法律関係の文章で・・」とするのが
妥当と思います。例えば、判決文、等々も。

                上 柴 公 二
Don Kirkman
2003-11-13 00:35:39 UTC
Permalink
It seems to me I heard somewhere that ueshiba wrote in article
Post by ueshiba
Post by Nagare Mitarai
We may still see the "kou-otsu-hei" form used in the contract with a real
estate firm in the way like "The Renter (hereafter referred to as KOU)....
the Landlord (hereafter referred to as OTSU)....."
多分より広く、「(現在では)法律関係の文章で・・」とするのが
妥当と思います。例えば、判決文、等々も。
                上 柴 公 二
In American legal documents it would often be "the party of the first
part," "the party of the second part," etc. rather than "hereafter
referred to as . . . ." Same legal meaning.
--
Don
Old age is when you start saying "I wish I knew now what I knew then."
necoandjeff
2003-11-13 01:22:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Kirkman
It seems to me I heard somewhere that ueshiba wrote in article
Post by ueshiba
Post by Nagare Mitarai
We may still see the "kou-otsu-hei" form used in the contract with a real
estate firm in the way like "The Renter (hereafter referred to as KOU)....
the Landlord (hereafter referred to as OTSU)....."
多分より広く、「(現在では)法律関係の文章で・・」とするのが
妥当と思います。例えば、判決文、等々も。
                上 柴 公 二
In American legal documents it would often be "the party of the first
part," "the party of the second part," etc. rather than "hereafter
referred to as . . . ." Same legal meaning.
I think that is fading from usage. In 3 years of law school and 2 years of
practice (reading through more contracts than I care to remember) I think
I've seen that construction maybe once or twice (and I don't think they were
even American contracts, British or Singaporean, perhaps.) But I do agree
that unnecessary legalese like "hereinafter referred to" is fading as well.
Nowadays the most common construction is to simply state the full party name
once in the beginning of the document and follow that with a brief
capitalized defined term in quotes and parentheses like: International
Business Machines Corporation, a New York corporation ("IBM") or Jeffrey S.
Schrepfer ("Lessee"), etc.

Jeff

Loading...