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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