Kanji Character Of The Year 2022: Reflecting on a Year of Turmoil

While 2021 was dominated by Olympic-themed choices, the mood took a somber turn this year as Japan selected the kanji character for “war” to symbolize 2022. This decision comes in the wake of significant global events, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the tragic assassination of former leader Shinzo Abe.

Organized by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation, the annual event allows the public to vote for a written character that encapsulates the essence of the year. This year, amidst a backdrop of uncertainty and strife, the symbol of “war” emerged as the chosen kanji.

Last year, “gold” was selected as the kanji of the year in celebration of the Tokyo Olympics, which were held after being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, the winning kanji was “mitsu,” representing concepts of density, crowding, and closeness.

“The invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the shooting of former Prime Minister Abe, and the challenges of rapid yen depreciation and inflation in daily life have left many people feeling anxious,” remarked the group, as reported by AFP.

As Japan navigates through these tumultuous times, the selection of the kanji character for “war” serves as a poignant reflection of the challenges and uncertainties faced by society.

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