Japanese to represent the number nine (9). Drawn as the kanji character:

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Originally written as a pictograph representing a bent elbow. In ancient times a bent elbow was used to indicate the number nine when counting with only one arm.

This character can be read as kyuu, ku, or kokono- (when used as a prefix). Example words are: juukyuu (nineteen), kokonoka (ninth day), & kugatsu (September).

The phoneme, "kyuu", in the Japanese language, is actually attached to several different characters. This makes it a good example of the limited amount of sounds available linguistically to Japanese speakers.

To note a few meanings of the sound:
  • nine
  • fast (speedy)
  • save (help, or aid)
  • bow (as in Kyuudo, the way of the bow)
  • class (as in rank or rating)
  • sphere (as in ball, or "chikyuu", Japanese for the Earth)
  • rest (as the on-yomi of yasumu)
In onomatopoeia, it can also be used as the sound of a small and reasonably kawaii animal.

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