"Rei" Picked as Kanji of 2019

Society

Kyoto, Dec. 12 (Jiji Press)--"Rei," the first one of the two kanji characters for the new era name Reiwa, was chosen as kanji of the year Thursday.

The character, whose meanings include fine and splendid, was written in calligraphy at Kiyomizu-dera, a famous Buddhist temple in the western Japan city of Kyoto, by chief monk Seihan Mori the same day.

Rei is the 25th kanji selected in the annual poll by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. Of the 216,325 votes cast this year, 30,427 went to rei.

Reiwa began upon the May 1 enthronement of Emperor Naruhito.

"Shin," meaning new, came in second. The character was popular apparently because of the new era, new records set in the Japanese sports world and new systems, such as cashless payment services.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press