Todays' kanji is GO! 五

おはようございます (ohayougozaimasu) everyone! Today's kanji is:

Pronounced "go", this is the number five in Japanese. 

Since we're just getting started, let's peel back another small layer of the kanji knowledge onion. Kanji typically have two "readings" or pronunciations. One's called the kun ("koon") reading, the other, the on ("ohn") reading. Another typical hang-up of non-Japanese learning is trying to memorize rules when to use one reading vs. another. I recommend not worrying about it yet, or ever.

The kun reading is native Japanese pronunciation, and the on reading derived from classical Chinese pronunciation.  There's a third type, reserved for use in names, but let's not go there since I haven't had my coffee yet this morning.

The on reading of 五 is go ご。The kun pronunciation is itsu いつ。A couple quick examples of the different use in what you'll hear and read are:

五日 itsuka いつか, the fifth day of the month.  Literally, "fifth day".

五月 gogatsu ごがつ, the month of May. Literally, "fifth month".

If you just picked up on the oddness of why one would use a native pronunciation when counting days, but the classical Chinese pronunciation when counting months, good job. えらいですね。Why do English-speakers spell knife with a K? I'm off topic.