"Mitsu" Selected as 2020 Kanji of the Year

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 14 (Jiji Press)--"Mitsu," a kanji Chinese character used in the three "mitsu" of closed and crowded settings involving close contact that experts say should be avoided to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, was chosen as kanji of the year on Monday.

The character 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.

The selection of the kanji reflected the steps many people took to prevent coronavirus infections, as well as increased closeness among friends who live far away from each other thanks to greater opportunities to meet virtually.

Mitsu is the 26th kanji selected in the annual poll of the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. The character was the most popular kanji in a poll conducted by mail and online from November, receiving 28,401 out of 208,025 votes.

"Wazawai," meaning woe, came second, reflecting such hardships as torrential rains in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the coronavirus crisis.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press