Pikrass wrote:Actually, no, the 5/7/5 thing is the original. The difference is that in Japanese these are not 5, 7 and 5 syllables, but morae. It's a subtle difference: a mora is not an entire syllable, it's just one sound.
Nearly all Japanese syllables are made of only one mora, and each mora is a symbol in the "syllabary" (though it's more of a "morabary"), called kana. こ = ko, し = shi, etc. There's one exception, the kana ん, which is pronounced "n" or "m" and have to appear after another mora: こん is "kon", which is a syllable made of two morae.
Also, long vowels (e.g. "ō" おう) are one syllable but are two morae.
Sokuon (miniature っ as in "nip
pon" にっぽん) also count as a mora, but yoon (miniature other kana like ゃ in "ja" じゃ) do not, as I understand it.
So, a sokuon or a final ん is an extra mora without being an extra syllable (so "nippon" has two syllables, but four morae), but a yoon is an extra kana without being an extra mora (or an extra syllable). So for example "kyō" [今日, きょう, meaning "today"] is one syllable, two morae, and three kana.
EDIT: ...and I just realized that this could be read as a criticism of your example (which contains several long vowels counted as a single unit) - I hadn't read the example yet, but I stand by this as I always learned that a long vowel does count as two morae. If you have a source saying otherwise I would be interested to see it.