Breaking: Manto-kun to Sento-kun: Step aside, pops

Remember the online poll on a replacement for Sento-kun? Rocking in Hakata caught the Asahi story announcing Sento's successor: Manto-kun.


Here's the Creators Yamato release, and here are Manto's designers, Kurogane Jinza.

What does "Manto" mean?

  • It's Japanese for "cape" (from the French manteau, cognate with "mantle")
  • It's a tortured but ultimately unrejectable way of pronouncing 万人, "10,000 people", i.e. "the myriad people", i.e. "everyone". The man here also suggests Man'yōshū_rc, as in the Nara-period poetry anthology. (Speaking of the MYS: Ancient wooden strip containing MYS poem identified!)
  • Manto is also an obscure Sino-Japanese word written 満都 and meaning "the whole capital".
  • Finally, Man to is an Edo-period adverbial meaning "in great quantities" (written 万と or 満と), but I don't think Nara recognizes that newfangled Edo slang as valid Japanese.

Popularity factor: 8


Thanks for the hat tip.


But Seto-kun waits


Jesus, man, that's exactly why we all hate Sento-kun. You really captured the menace.


In Chinese, "mantou" (饅頭) is a steamed bun that manto-kun looks strikingly similar to. Any possible connection?


Steamed manto-kuns scream with delight when you bite them


Josh: Probably not, because that word is in the Japanese lexicon, too, but pronounced manjuu.


Today, we still use it like "5 manto aru" meaning many. I've never heard other numbers than 5.


Naoki: I didn't realize that, thanks!

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