UCL WIKI

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When they come before counters, shi, shichi and ku are usually replaced by yon, nana and kyuu. This is because shi and ku are homophones of the kanji for death and suffering, respectively. Shichi gets confused with shi ichi and so is usually replaced by yon (with a couple of counters: yo)nana.

Here we will regard ichi, ni, san, yon, go, roku, nana, hachi, kyuu, juu as the basic set. When other forms are used, we will indicate them.

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