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kanji of the year 今年の漢字 Kotoshi no kanji A New Tradition that Fascinates

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shodo kanji new year

articolo in italiano



Japan has many traditions, some of which are recent, such as this one introduced for the first time in 1995, really only a few years ago, but which already have a very important following.

We usually talk about traditions that go back centuries and that have taken root in Japanese culture and society. But for the first time we find ourselves talking about a tradition that is only 26 years old, really “young”.

The Kanji that will enclose the spirit of the year that will come is chosen by the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society 財 団 法人 日本 漢字 能力 検 定 協会 Zaidan hōjin Nihon Kanji Nōryoku kentei kyōkai through a national vote. Just think that for the Kanji that represents this year, 金 (kin, kane) which among other things has already been "protagonist" and chosen 4 times (in 2000, 2012, 2016 and 2021), 223,773 proposals have arrived. , of these the kanji Kin received 10,422.


kiyomizu dera temple


Once the Kanji has been decided, the presentation ceremony is held in Kyoto at Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺, which surely many of you fans know about its beauty. On December 12, called the Kanji Day 漢字 の 日 kanji no Hi, the ceremony will be attended by the monk in charge of the Kiyomizudera temple, who will present it with a particular and very exciting presentation, because it will be written directly by the monk on canvas with a brush in the classic shodo 書 道 style, very interesting to follow.


shodo kanji new year


Usually the indication of the kanji follows the hope or the celebration of events that characterized the year as for example for 2018 the Kanji sai / wazawa-i 災 was chosen which means disaster, and was chosen to commemorate the an event of the same year in which there was an earthquake in Osaka as well as heavy flooding in southwestern Japan, a particularly fatal year. Going back, for example, to "our" Kin in 2016 he was chosen because of the many victories (and gold medals) won by Japan at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Although new as a tradition, it quickly took over and entered the hearts of the Japanese who in recent years have felt more and more taken by the event so much so that the proposals received by the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society are on the rise and always occupy space in everyone. the Japanese media that give it strong prominence.


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