Japan’s year symbolized by ‘disaster’
  • Sunday, January 20, 2019
  • 81°

News

Japan’s year symbolized by ‘disaster’

  • JAPAN NEWS / YOMIURI

    Seihan Mori, head priest of Kiyomizudera temple, writes the kanji character of the year, “sai” (disaster), at the temple in Kyoto Dec. 13.

ADVERTISING

Tokyo >> The kanji character most symbolic of 2018 was “sai” (disaster), according to the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation in Kyoto.

On Dec. 13, Seihan Mori, the head priest of Kiyomizudera temple, wrote the kanji in calligraphy at the UNESCO World Heritage-designated temple in Kyoto. The kanji testing foundation publicly solicits suggestions for the most suitable kanji character for each year, with 193,214 submissions this year.

“Sai” garnered the largest number of submissions with 20,858.

In 2018, a series of natural disasters hit Japan, including an earthquake in northern Osaka Prefecture in June, heavy rain in western Japan in July, Typhoon No. 21 in September and an earthquake the same month in Hokkaido.

The second most popular character was “hei” as in the first character of the Heisei era, followed by “shu” (end), apparently because many voters were thinking of the end of the Heisei era, as a new emperor will be enthroned in 2019.

It was the second time since 2004 that “sai” was chosen.

Comments (0)
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up