The Meaning of Shota: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of shota? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word shota, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word shota mean? What does the name Shota mean?

According to Urban Dictionary, Jisho, and Japanese With Anime, the term Shota is a Japanese slang portmanteau of the word Shotacon, or Shōtarō, which is a complex in which a person is attracted to young boys. This can either describe the person who feels this attraction or the attraction itself. Outside of Japan, this term usually refers to an anime and manga sub-genre in which the pre-pubescent or teenage male characters are depicted suggestively or erotically. In Japanese, this word is written as ショタコン. This word does not have a kanji depiction and is only written as katakana.

This term is used strictly to refer to boys and boy characters in anime and manga series. The equivalent term for young girls is lolli, or lolicon, from the term Lolita complex. A trap shota is someone who is gender ambiguous or a person who dresses as the opposite gender, such as ayoung boy dressing up as a girl. Shota and shotacon are not the same thing. Shotacon refers to hentai pornography in which the young boy characters are involved in sexual or suggestive situations. In Japan, the term shotacon is associated with the pedophile who is going after the young buys, while the term shota refers to the boys themselves.

The word syota, or ショタ, means the same thing as the word shota. However, this uses the romaji system, whereas the word shota uses the Hepburn system which is made for westerners. Syota uses Kunrei-shiki, which was made for Japanese people. Therefore, the term syota will likely only be used by someone who is Japanese.

According to Baby Names and Word Sense, the word Shota is also a male baby name. These websites state that the name Shota can be of either Japanese origin or Georgian origin. In Japanese, the boy’s name is thought to mean prosperity, or commander. In Georgian, this was the name of a 12th century poet Shota Rustaveli. Below is a list of translations for how the name Shota is written in many different languages.

  • Indonesian: Shota‎
  • Basque: Shota‎
  • Icelandic: Shota‎
  • Ukrainian: Шота‎
  • Turkish: Şota‎
  • Chuvash: Шота‎
  • Catalan: Shota‎
  • Slovene: Šota‎
  • Japanese: ショタ‎
  • Tatar: Şota‎
  • Latin: Siota‎
  • Czech: Šota‎
  • Chinese – Mandarin: 紹塔‎
  • Lithuanian: Šota‎
  • Korean: 쇼타‎
  • Hindi: शोथा‎
  • Serbo-Croatian: Шота‎
  • Western Mari: Шота‎
  • Georgian: შოთა‎
  • Abkhaz: Шоҭа‎
  • Estonian: Šotha‎
  • Mingrelian: შოთა‎
  • Italian: Shota‎
  • Portuguese: Shota‎
  • Russian: Шота‎
  • Belarusian: Шата‎
  • Welsh: Shota‎
  • Dutch: Sjota‎
  • Spanish: Shota‎
  • Luxembourgish: Šot’a‎
  • Esperanto: Ŝota‎
  • Mari:
  • Finnish: Šota‎
  • Volapük: Jota‎
  • Hungarian: Sota‎
  • Slovak: Šota‎
  • Punjabi: ਸ਼ੋਥਾ‎
  • Armenian: Շոթա‎
  • Swahili: Shota‎
  • Polish: Szota‎
  • Azeri: Şota‎
  • French: Chota‎
  • Greek: Σότα‎
  • Ossetian: Шота‎
  • German: Schota‎
  • Swedish: Sjota‎
  • Mongolian: Шота‎

What are popular shota in anime and manga?

According to Honey’s Anime, there are many popular shota characters in anime and manga. These include Mitsukuni “Honey” Haninozuka from Ouran High School Host Club, Hiro Sohma from Fruits Basket, Naozumi Kamura from Kodocha, Alladin from Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Mirumo from Mirmo Zibang!, Shino Inuzuka from Hakkenden: Eights Dogs of the East, Ruka Nogi from Alice Academy, Shaoran Li from Cardcaptor Sakura, Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler, and Ren Kaidou from Super Lovers. There are many more popular shota characters where this came form, but if you are interested in watching anime that feature shota characters, this list is a great place to start. 

How can the word shota be used in a sentence?

Usually, the word shota will be used to describe a young boy in an anime or manga that is considered attractive, especially in the West. One should be careful when using this term because it might imply an attraction to said young boys. One would not want others to get the wrong idea, and should therefore use the term sparingly. If you do plan to use this term, make sure that the person you are speaking with has the proper background knowledge to know that you are not referring to a personal attraction of a pedophilic nature. In the below example, Jan and Eric are talking about different types of anime. They are well versed on the topic and watch it together frequently.

Jan: Ugh.

Eric: What’s the matter?

Jan: All of these comments on my Ouran High School Host Club blog are making me kind of uncomfortable.

Eric: What are they saying?

Jan: They keep gushing over Honey, calling him shota… I don’t know how old these people are but it’s creepy, right? I don’t know, maybe I’m being harsh.

Here, Jan described the people commenting on her blog. They are referring to a young male character as a shota. She feels uncomfortable about this because she thinks there might be older people with an attraction to younger boys – pedophiles – reading her blog.

Overall, the word shota is a term that is used in Japanese to refer to an attraction to young boys, or the young boy that the person is attracted to. This is an abbreviation of the word shotacon, which is used to describe the pedophile that is feeling said attraction. Shota are featured in many Japanese anime and manga series. Additionally, the word Shota is a name in both Japanese and Georgian – however, with the modern connotation of the word Shota, this name is nowhere near making the popular names list.

Sources:

  1. https://www.wordsense.eu/Shota/
  2. https://www.babynames.com/name/shota
  3. https://www.japanesewithanime.com/2018/01/shota.html
  4. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=shota
  5. https://jisho.org/word/%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A7%E3%82%BF%E3%82%B3%E3%83%B3#:~:text=Shotacon%E2%80%8B%2C%20sometimes%20shortened%20to,less%20often%20with%20this%20meaning.
  6. https://honeysanime.com/top-10-kawaii-little-cutest-boy-characters-in-anime/