CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiUncorrected

Nishi Muku Samurai

  • There are two types of month; that has the 31st day, or doesn’t have the day.


    Today, I will introduce the Japanese phrase “nishi muku samurai,” which is used for remembering months that don’t have the 31st day (that is, February, April, June, September and November).

    The literal meaning of “nishi muku samurai” is “a samurai who are facing the west,” and it can be divided into “ni”, “shi”, “mu”, “ku”, and “samurai”.

    Here, “ni” means “two” (February), “shi” means “four” (April), “mu” means “six” (June), and “ku” means “nine” (September) in Japanese.

    Furthermore, “samurai” implies “eleven” (November), but the reason is a little complicated.

    Eleven is written as “十一” in kanji, and when you arrange it vertically, it becomes “士”.

    “士” (shi) means “武士” (bushi), and “武士” is equivalent to “侍” (samurai), hence “侍” can express “eleven”.

    Original sentence