I usually keep my non-book-related personal life out of this blog, but this incident was actually kind of on topic.

So my wife was reading an Anpanman book to my son when she departed from the text on one page to elaborate on one of the details in the accompanying illustration. Naturally, my son immediately objected.

"You should know better than that," I said (in English). "Anpanman is sola scriptura."

"That's right," my son agreed (in Japanese). "Anpanman wa sora o tobu kara." ("Anpanman can fly, so [there].")

(Explanation for those who don't get it: My son interpreted my Latin sola ("alone") as Japanese sora ("sky"), and assumed that I was criticizing his mother's improvised elaborations on the grounds that Anpanman can fly. Which made complete sense to him as a rhetorical position, and so he immediately adopted it as his own too.

This misunderstanding was possible because the concept of superhero-style flight is usually expressed by the set phrase sora o tobu, literally "fly in/through the sky". This probably arose because tobu can also just mean "jump", which is less impressive; perhaps not coincidentally, the Superman mythos sometimes exhibits a similar ambiguity between extremely powerful and well-controlled leaping and genuine flight.)

Popularity factor: 3


So are you trying to tell me that there is no Talmud for Anpanman? What is canon then? TV show only? Does it include the movies? Published books as well? With Takashi Yanase dead can there be any more canon? Was the apostolic mantle of Anpan passed on to a successor, or did it die with him?


And where the hell does Chirin no Suzu fits in? Apocalypse apocrypha? The Quran?


I'd call Chirin no Suzu an apocalypse, sure. As for the rest -- well, I'm on record likening the original books to the Pali canon and everything TV show and after to the Greater Vehicle phase of Buddhism (particularly in China->Korea->Japan).

As for the post-Yanase issue, I'll reserve judgment on that until the Second Anpanman Council, due about 2100. (The first council was presumably held in secret by rightsholders but presumably by 2100 global warming will have weakened the ability of corporations to exercise that sort of centralized control.)

Aime la vérité, mais pardonne à l'erreur

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