Japanese Phrase Picks

No.178 (12/24/10)

KOTOSHI no KANJI (The Kanji of the Year)

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

Since 1995, the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society began picking a kanji character from nationwide in Japan, which represents the year. Every December 12th has been called “Kanji no Hi -- The Day of Kanji” since then. The Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society announces the special kanji character at the most famous sightseeing spot in Kyoto, Kiyomizu Temple.

暑“Atsui, Sho” meaning hot

This year had a record number of hot summer days. Many people suffered damage and struggled with the significant impact. Chilean miners severely experienced the hot days until a miraculous return from the underground.

The Kanji of the Year in the past
2009 新“Atarashii, Shin” meaning new
2008 変“Kawaru, Hen” meaning strange, change
2007 偽“Itsuwaru, Gi, Nise” meaning fictitious, false
2006 命“Inochi, Mei, Myou” meaning life

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