Jo (丈; a unit of length by old Japanese system of weights and measures) or Take (丈; height of people ()

Jo (丈)

Jo is the unit of length by old Japanese system of weights and measures.

1 jo is defined to be 10 shaku. In Japan 1 jo is about 3.03 meters because 1 shaku was defined to be 10 over 33 meters in the Meiji period. In China 1 shaku (or shi-chi) is a third meters, so 1 jo (or shi-zhang) is about 3.33 meters.

Jo is derived from ancient China. Jo' was modeled after the shape of a hand holding a long stick, whence it came to stand for body length, mi no take (身の丈; body length). It would appear that 'jo' was originally the measurement unit of body length based on the length of adult male ('jobu' (丈夫) originally meant a man whose height was 1 jo [1.8 meters those days], whence it came to mean fully grown man). Shaku was about 18 centimeters those days, and jo was to be ten times larger, associated with shaku. When shaku became twice as long as the first length, jo also became twice the length of the body. It has been used since before the Taiho Code in Japan.

Ken' (1ken = 6 shaku) is a similar unit of length, but while ken was used for surveying the land or measuring the distance, jo was used for measuring the length of objects. In turn '丈' (take) took on another meaning, that is, the length of objects.

Also, the area of square with side length 1 jo was called hojo, which also meant rooms or buildings with that size.

Take (丈)

Take is the height of people and objects.
For example: Mi no take

Furthermore, it means the clothes length from the shoulder to the base or the length of skirts and trousers.

Conventional short pants with 2 to 3 centimeters in length of the leg are called sanbutake (literally, 30 percents of the whole length), the ones with the thigh length are yonbutake (literally, 40 percents of the whole length), half pants with knee length are gobutake (literally, 50 percents of the whole length), the ones with low-the knee length are rokubutake (literally, 60 percents of the whole length), pants with shin length are shichibutake (literally, 70 percents of the whole length) and pants with ankle length are hachibutake (literally, 80 percents of the whole length). Take was once a jargon when there were only short pants and longs, but with the advent of half pants the term came to be used at the stores to describe the subtle difference in the length of pants to the consumers.

[Original Japanese]