KANJI: MAN BAN (ten thousand, myriad)

ASCII Art Representation:

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Character Etymology:

There are several theories as to the etymology of this character. One suggests that the current character is a heavily simplified version of a pictograph for a scorpion. Perhaps, because scorpions were extremely numerous at that place and time, but certainly there must have been a phonetic connection.

This theory seams unlikely, however, as the current character for ten thousand has also been shown to be a variant of a character meaning twisting waterweed, borrowed phonetically. This theory has some credibility as one direct decendent of the twisting waterweed character means something like number today.

Yet another theory suggests that the current character for ten thousand is indeed a simplification of the ancient swastika symbol, which has connotations of being all encompassing and by association myriad and thus numerous.

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: MAN BAN
kun-yomi: yorozu kazu ma yuru

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: kazu ma yuru

English Definitions:

  1. MAN: ten thousand; myriad.
  2. BAN: ten thousand; myriad; fully; if by any chance.
  3. yorozu: ten thousand; myriads, all, everything.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 7
Henshall: 392

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

(goman): 50,000.
(banji): everything
(mannenhitsu): fountain pen.


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Ten Thousand is one of my grandfather’s favorite games. It is the earliest exercise in mathematics and simple probability I received as a child. I believe before I could read, even, I could explain why you wouldn’t keep “three twos” if you had a chance to roll again.

I don’t know where this dice game originated, or if there are other variations on playing or scoring. It is played with any number of players. The goal is to be the first player to reach 10,000 points. It is played with six six-sided dice. In order to “get in” or, begin being able to score points, a player must acquire 500 or more points. After that, they can “stay” or, keep any amount of points in a given turn by choosing not to continue rolling.

The basic rules of rolling: A player rolls all six dice. If their roll produces scoring dice or combinations, they have the option of putting those aside, and rolling the remaining dice, or accepting the total scored at their total for the turn. If at any time, no scoring dice are rolled, then all points acquired during that turn are lost and the turn ends.

The first player to break 10,000 points initiates one last round in which the remaining players have one last turn in which to beat that player’s score. The highest score (above 10,000) at the end of this last round is the winner.

A full run (1-6 in one throw) = 1,000 and dice are thrown again.
A partial run (1-5 or 2-6) = 500
Three 1s = 1000
Three 6s = 600
Three 5s = 500
Three 4s = 400
Three 3s = 300
Three 2s = 200
A single 1 = 100
A single 5 = 50

No other die is scored unless part of one of the above combinations.

On any throw in which all six dice are counted towards points, the player must throw again. Any points gained are added to their score. If however, their next toss contains no scoring dice, then they lose the points accrued during that turn.

My grandparents played a game of ten thousand every morning, for probably twenty years, until one day my grandmother refused to play. They continue to play ten thousand every morning, but now my grandpa rolls for the both of them. According to him-my grandma still always wins

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