More on the Canon EOS M5 which I wrote about earlier today. Reader John Singuist added a comment which deserves wider recognition. He says:
I read somewhere that Canon omitted an M4 because of some Japanese supersition. Maybe they should have avoided M5 because of some German supersition. They could have gone for the M6 which sounds altogether better!
This tickled my fancy true enough. Strangely, the significance of M5 had completely eluded me. Canon jumped from the M3 to the M5 in the EOS sequence and we are told that there is a Japanese superstition against the number 4. Here is chapter and verse:
Besides unlucky years, there are also numbers that are considered unlucky in Japan. The number four is considered to be unlucky because the word for four is shi (四/し) closely resembles the word for death shi (死/し). Likewise, the word for nine ku (九/く) sounds similar to the word for pain and suffering ku (苦/く).
I can now understand this a bit more. It’s probably why there won’t be an iPhone 13 and possibly explains why Leica decided to stop at nine and go for plain old M. What Canon might not have taken into account is that M5 could have connotations in Germany. The poor old M5 was not a happy seller and it nearly brought the factory to its knees. The M6 put the rangefinder world to rights and it is still one of the most popular film cameras in existence.
Perhaps Canon should have read up on Leica history before pulling M5 out of the hat. But then it IS only superstition.