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dai-ichi (第一), is a compound, modifier phrase of Japanese origin, meaning number one,[1] or first. In kanji, "dai" ("number") is 第[2] and "ichi" ("one") is 一.[3] "Dai" is also defined "ordinal number marker."[2] It is this feature that makes the phrase a modifier, or an adjective, describing a noun, as first. Number one functions in the same way.

The phrase is also used without the hyphen, as daiichi.

Dai-ichi is frequently used in proper names, hence capitalized; also Dai-Ichi and occasionally Dai Ichi. There is a sound-alike common first name with different spelling.

Uses include but are not limited to:
  • Fukushima Dai-ichi or Fukushima Daiichi – Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, (福島第一原子力発電所) (dai and ichi are third and fourth characters) – a six-unit nuclear plant complex struck in the March 11, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
  • Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co – the third largest life insurer in Japan by revenues
  • Dai Ichi Daihoumaru Ship case – a 1952 incident between the South Korean Coast Guard and the Japanese Dai Ichi Daihoumaru ship
  • Dai-Ichi Kangyō Bank – was one of the largest banks in the world during the latter half of the 20th century
  • Dai-ichi KōKū Kantai (第一航空艦隊) (dai and ichi are first and second characters) – 1st Air Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy; amongst a number of military-unit names incorporating the phrase
  • Dai-ichi Hōsō – The 1st Broadcast (第1放送) (dai is first character; ichi is the numeral "1" instead of 一) on Radio Nikkei carries general programs and horse racing from eastern Japan ("hōsō" not listed in Wiktionary; click link to create listing)
  • Dai-Ichi-dōri Station – a commuter station in downtown Hamamatsu city (dōri)
  • Morioka Dai-ichi High School – is a public, coeducational, university preparatory high school in Morioka city, Iwate, Japan
  • Daiichi Sankyo (第一三共株式会社) (Dai and ichi are first and second characters) – a Japan-based major pharmaceutical company
  • Daiichi Institute of Technology – a private university in Kirishima, Kagoshima, Japan
  • Dai-ichi was the name of a professional Go tournament 1959–75

Related phrases[edit]

Dai-ni (第二) means number two or second, using two parallel bars (二) or "2" for "ni"; also daini

  • Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant (福島第二原子力発電所) (dai and ni are the third and fourth characters), Fukushima Dai-Ni Genshiryoku Hatsudensho, Fukushima II NPP, 2F or "Fukushima Daini" – a four-unit nuclear plant complex seven miles south of the Dai-Ichi plants and also struck in the March 11, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
  • Radio Nikkei's 2nd Broadcast (第2放送) (dai is first character; ni is the numeral "2" instead of 二) (Dai-ni Hōsō) carries live company stock price announcement and horse racing from western Japan; Radio Nikkei is Japan's domestic shortwave commercial radio broadcasting station

Dai-san (第三) means number three or third, using three parallel bars (三) or "3" for "san"


And continuing for 4, 5, 6, etc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hobart-Hampden, Ernest Miles and Sir Harold George Parlett, eds., An English-Japanese dictionary of the spoken language, via Google Books. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  2. ^ a b Nakao, Seigo, Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary, via Google Books, p. 39. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  3. ^ Nakao, Seigo, Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary, via Google Books, p. 95. Retrieved 2011-03-18.