# Shakkanhō

Shakkanhō ( Japanese 尺 貫 法 ) is an old Japanese system of measurements for lengths, volumes, areas, weights and money. It is based on the Chinese system of measurements , which was used throughout East Asia .

## Relation to the meter rule

The Japanese Weights and Measures Act of 1891 states:

Note: The units of measurement given below differed greatly from the given values ​​in ancient times.

 1 Jō ( 丈 ) = 100/33 m 1 kanejaku ( 曲尺 ) = 10/33 m 1 kujirajaku ( 鯨 尺 ) = 25/66 m

The acronym Shaku ( ) usually stands for Kanejaku ( 曲尺 ). The 25% larger kujirajaku ( 鯨 尺 ) is almost no longer needed these days.

## length

The traditional Japanese measures of length are still used regularly in some industries today, although Japan long introduced the metric system . These include agriculture, carpentry and certain local crafts such as the Bogu -Macherei. The dimensions are defined in relation to the meter .

Japanese units of length
unit Kanji size meter

Rin 10 mo 1/3300 0, 30 mm
Bu 10 rin 1/330 3, 03 mm
Sun 10 Bu 1/33 3, 03 cm
Shaku 10 Sun 10/33 3, 03 dm
Ken A. 6 Shaku 20/11
10 shaku 100/33 3, 03 m
Chō 360 Shaku = 36 Jō = 60 Ken 1200/11 0.1 09 km
Ri 12,960 Shaku = 36 Chō 43.200 / 11 3.9 27 km

A shaku roughly corresponds to the foot used in Europe and still today in the USA . There is next to another Shaku , the Kujirajaku ( 鯨尺 ) of 25/66 meters (0.3 78 m), but that was less common. The kanejaku ( 曲尺 ) is common.

Due to different transcriptions , the terms Sung and Sonn for Sun - - and Sasi for Shaku - - and Jo for Chō - can be found here and there, especially in older texts .

annotation
A. A ken - - in ancient temples refers to the number of spaces between two pillars. Expressed in meters, it can be a value between 2.5 and 3.5 m, whereby the distance between the pillars can be different even in the same temple - while maintaining symmetry.

## surface

Area - Eight ( Tatami ) / four Tsubo in size.
Japanese area measurements
unit Kanji size in SI units
1 shaku 4/121 m² ≈ 3.3058 dm²
1 Go 10 shaku 40/121 m² ≈ 33.058 dm²
1 5 Gō = ½ tsubo 200/121 m² ≈ 1.6529
1 tsubo / 10 Gō = 1 Ken 2 400/121 m² ≈ 3.3058 m²
1 se 30 tsubo 12,000 / 121 m² ≈ 99.174 m²
1 tan / 300 tsubo = 10 se 120,000 / 121 m² ≈ 991.736 m² ≈ 9.92 a
1 Chō 3000 tsubo = 10 tan 1,200,000 / 121 m² ≈ 9917 m² ≈ 0.992  ha
• Area dimensions and length dimensions hanging by the definition 1 tsubo - 坪,歩 = 1 Ken 2 - 2 - with each other.
• The size of a Jō - - can be interpreted differently from the regionally different Tatami sizes.

## volume

Sake drinking vessel (1 ) on special occasions

The traditional Japanese measures of volume are still important today ( rice , sake ), although Japan introduced the metric system a long time ago.

unit Kanji size liter
Shaku ≈ 0.018039
10 shaku ≈ 0.18039
Shō 10 Go ≈ 1.8039
To 10 Shō ≈ 18.039
Koku 10 tons ≈ 180.39
• Exact definition of 1891: 1 Shō = 2401 / 1331 liters = 64.827 Sun 3

## Weight

Past weights of the coin changer D to the Edo period (from left to right, top to bottom v..):
1 Row:
30 Ryō ( 參拾両 - 1124.66 g), 20 Ryō ( 貳拾両 - 749.07 g), 10 Ryō ( 拾 両 - 374.02 g), 10 Ryō ( 拾 両 - 374.62 g)
2nd row:
3 Mom (me) ( 三 匁 - 11.19 g), 1 Ryō ( 壹 両 - 37.47 g), 1 ryō ( 壹 両 - 37.45 g), 2 ryō ( 貳 両 - 74.89 g), 3 ryō ( 參 両 - 112.42 g), 4 ryō ( 肆 両 - 149 , 77 g)
unit Kanji size Gram
1 fun 0.375 g = 375 mg
1 Mom (me) B 10 fun 3.75 g
1 ryō 10 momme 37.5 g
1 child 160 momme 600 g
1 came (me) C 貫 ​​(目) 1000 momme 3750 g = 3.75 kg
1 Shō 10,000 momme 37.5 kg
1 gan 1,000,000 momme 3750 kg = 3.75 t
• In 1891 1 kin - - (see also Kätti ) was defined as exactly 600 grams.
• The ryō - - corresponds to the Chinese tael .
annotation
B. According to the “Revised Hepburn System ” actually Mon (me) .
C. According to the "Revised Hepburn System " actually Kan (me) .
D. Money changer - 両 替 商 ryōgae · shō

## money

Edo period (1603 to 1868)

 copper 1 month 文 = 1 month Copper coin (see cash ) 1 hiki 疋 = 10 months 1 combon 貫 ​​文 = 100 hiki = 1000 months silver 1 mo 毛 = 1 mo 1 rin 厘 = 10 mo 1 fun 分 = 10 rin = 100 mo 1 Mom (me) B 匁 = 10 fun = 100 rin = 1000 mo Silver coin 1 came (me) C 貫 ​​(目) = 1000 momme = 1,000,000 mō gold 1 Shu 朱 = 1 Shu 1 Bu 分 = 4 Shu 1 ryō 両 = 4 Bu = 16 Shu

The prices between copper, silver and gold fluctuated among each other. 1 Ryō corresponded to approx. 50–70 Momme silver coins and approx. 4,000–8,000 Mon copper coins. For example, the price of 1842 was: 1 Ryō = 60 Momme = 6500 Mon. The money change has been and is still considered ryōgae ( 両替 ) D respectively. The elongated oval gold coin Ryō was usually called Koban ( 小 判 ) in the Edo period .

Meiji period (from 1868)

• 1 yen - - (gold) = 100 sen - - (copper) = 1000 rin -
• 1 Sen = 10 Rin

## A follow-up to Shakkanhō

Some of the above names are actually dimensionless, they only give a series of fractions of ten, such as centi, milli, and therefore appear in different places - without a dimension such as -meter, -liter. The names of the system adopted from China were slightly modified. In China, a bu ( ) expressed 1/10 of the reference dimension, a rin ( ) 1/100. In Japan the tenth was (and is called) a wari ( ), the bu or bun became the hundredth and the rin became the thousandth, the mō ( ) became the ten thousandth and shi ( ) became the hundredth.

## Individual evidence

1. Strictly speaking, money does not belong in this system.
2. fas.harvard.edu