Japan has chosen the character meaning “war” as the kanji of the year


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In Japan, according to the results of a popular vote, the character for 2022 was determined — 戦, which means “war”. This is reported by The Guardian.


The voting was conducted by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. A total of 223 thousand applications were submitted, including almost 11 thousand for this kanji.


“The invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the shooting of former prime minister Abe, and the rapid yen depreciation and inflation faced in daily life have caused anxiety for many people,” stated the foundation.


While many people cited Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, others said their choice had been influenced by North Korean missile launches and the daily struggle posed by rising food prices. Some said they had been moved to select the kanji by sporting drama, including the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Japanese professional baseball and the World Cup in Qatar.


“I was surprised, frustrated, angry and sad by the war in Ukraine. I am also angry at myself for not being able to do anything about it,” said one voter who picked the character.


The character of the year has been chosen in Japan since 1995. Traditionally, the ceremony of writing the symbol on the canvas is held in the Buddhist monastery Kiyomizu in Kyoto. The top ten characters of the year also include the words “contentment”, “simplicity”, “discord”, “sadness” and “harmony”.


The 戦 character last topped the poll in 2001, the year of the 9/11 attacks.


Recall that the word of the year according to Merriam Webster is “gaslighting”. And the compilers of Collins Dictionary chose the concept of “permacrisis” as the main word of 2022.


Featured photo: nishinippon.co.jp