Japan Has Revealed Their Kanji of the Year for 2018

It's an eye-opener for all of us.

Kanken Kanji Museum Library
551 Gion-cho Minami-gawa, Higashi-yama District, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except on Mondays.

Kotoshi no Kanji
(Kanji of the Year), which reveals the kanji that represents society during a year, recently announced 2018’s kanji last December 12. The kanji 災, which means disaster, was chosen as first place.

2018 Kotoshi no Kanji ® was 災 (disaster)

The Kanji of the Year is announced annually by the Japanese calligraphy chief of Kiyomizu Temple, Seihan Mori, after votes from all over Japan have been counted. For the kanji
, 20,858 were votes recorded out of the total 193,214 votes. This kanji was likewise chosen in 2004, which was a year known for its many natural disasters such as the earthquake in Niigata.

The year 2018 was also a year of natural disasters, including the Hokkaido Iburi East Earthquake, Osaka North Earthquake, Tottori West Earthquake, heavy rains in Western Japan, Typhoon No. 21 and 24, and the record-setting intense heat. Aside from this, 2018 was also the year when the heist of virtual currency and rigging of entrance exams in medical universities happened.

On the other hand, the kanji
, which represents peace, was chosen as second place after it had garnered 16,117 votes. It was also selected because 2018 was the last year of the Heisei era and many people expected peace.

The kanji that won third place was
, which means the end, with 11,013 votes possibly attributed to Namie Amuro and stable master Takanohana’s retirements and the feeling conveyed after Tsukiji Market’s relocation.

The calligraphy of this year’s kanji, , is exhibited at Kanji Museum’s “The Kanji of the Year Exhibition.”

In addition to this, the Heisei period will also be featured in a kanji exhibit in Gion, Kyoto from December 22 onwards.

You can find the Top 20 list of kanjis for the year on the official website of Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation.

Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokyo Walker™ (12 December 2018)

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