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Counting by hand, Japanese style

We already saw how the Japanese count by hand. The problem is that this technique can only be used if this is meant for yourself. Now let’s see how they display this to someone else.

Basically, you raise your hand towards another person (as if saying ‘hi’) and put as many fingers up as the number you want to display. The order is as follows: the index first, then the middle finger followed by the ring finger, the little finger and finally the thumb.

If the number you wish to indicate is larger than five, you can do the same thing, using the other hand. The difference here is that these fingers will be supported in the palm of the previously used hand.

Let me explain. Imagine you want to show the number 8, then raise and open your right hand completely and place three fingers of your left hand on the palm of your right hand.

The Japanese form is much more effective than western one, because if we want to show the number 8, we have to raise both hands and count the fingers of both hands. While in Japan, if the number exceeds five, we need only look at the fingers that are support by the palm of the other hand, as these indicate that you have to start counting from five.

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