Odd v. Even Numbers

If I had full academic library privileges, I’d be dropping everything I had planned this afternoon to read A Study of Odd- and Even-Number Cultures:

Japanese prefer odd numbers, whereas Westerners emphasize even numbers, an observation that is clear from the distribution of number-related words in Japanese and English dictionaries. In this article, the author explains why these two cultures differ by surveying the history of numbers, including yin-yang thought from ancient China, ancient Greek philosophy, and modern European mathematics. The author also mentions that oddness and evenness are only mathematical concepts, but understanding the cultures and histories of individual countries contributes to world peace.

I’m all for world peace.


  1. I have a handy trick for finding (p)reprints of papers.

    Just google on a phrase lifted from the paper (such as abstract).


    Usually quotes help, but actually in this case the phrase isn’t an exact match.

  2. Thanks James. The paper is, indeed, as wacky as I suspected. And for the record, the two dollar bill has been decidedly unpopular here in the U.S.

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