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Japanese/Korean weekdays borrowed from Chinese?

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According to this site, these modern Japanese and Korean names are the traditional Chinese names for names of the week:


There are, at least 3 methods to talk about weekdays in Chinese (星期一..., 礼拜一..., 周一). This is the 4th, the Japanese/Korean way, the Japanese/Korean pronunciation is given in square brackets, "ō" is a long "o", not the 1st tone "o":

月耀/曜日 Yuèyàorì Monday, Japanese: [Getsuyōbi], Korean: 월요일 [Woryoil]

火曜日 Huǒyàorì Tuesday, Japanese: [Kayōbi], Korean: 화요일 [Hwayoil]

水曜日 Shuǐyàorì Wednesday, Japanese: [suiyōbi], Korean: 수요일 [suyoil]

木曜日 Mùyàorì Thursday, Japanese: [Mokuyōbi], Korean: 목요일 [Mogyoil]

金曜日 Jīnyàorì Friday, Japanese: [Kin'yōbi], Korean: 금요일 [Geumyoil]

土曜日 Tǔyàorì Saturday, Japanese: [Doyōbi], Korean: 토요일 [Toyoil]

日曜日 Rìyàorì Sunday, Japanese: [Nichiyōbi], Korean: 일요일 [iryoil]

These are not based on numbers but on 月 (moon), 火 (fire), 水 (water), 木 (tree), 金 (gold), 土 (earth), 日 (sun).

I wonder why ABC dictionary has entries for Japanese names of the week. Do these words have any usage in the Chinese culture (mainland, Taiwan, etc.) ? 耀 is variant of 曜, which is not used in Japanese.

Some other site said these were abandoned early in the 20th century. (My guess is, there was some revival in Taiwan later in the 20th century).

Do Chinese people understand, ever use these words? Were they used in the old literature?

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It's actually from the Babylonians:

Sun 日

Moon 月

Mars 火星

Mercury 水星

Jupiter 金星

Venus 木星

Saturn 土星


              Latin         French      Saxon        English

 Sun       Dies Solis     Dimanche    Sun's day      Sunday
 Moon      Dies Lunae     Lundi       Moon's day     Monday
 Mars      Dies Martis    Mardi       Tiw's day      Tuesday
 Mercury   Dies Mercurri  Mercredi    Woden's day    Wednesday
 Jupiter   Dies Jovis     Jeudi       Thor's day     Thursday
 Venus     Dies Veneris   Vendredi    Frigg's day    Friday
 Saturn    Dies Saturni   Samedi      Seterne's day  Saturday


Various sources point to the seven day week originated in ancient Babylonia or Sumer. It has been suggested that a seven day week might be much older. The seven day planetary week originated in Hellenistic Egypt.

In any event, a seven day week based on heavenly luminaries eventually diffused both East and West, to the Romans via the Greeks, and to the Japanese via Manicheans, Indians and Chinese.

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Thanks, Gato, I didn't know that Western and Eastern names of the week are related.

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