'New' voted kanji character of the year

'New' voted kanji character of the year The chief priest draws the kanji character for "new" at Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto on Friday. SANKEI

KYOTO —

‘‘Shin,’’ which means ‘‘new’’ in English, has been chosen as the single best kanji to characterize the year 2009, a Kyoto-based kanji promotion organization said Friday. The Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation said it received a total of 161,365 entries for its poll to select the single best kanji reflecting society in 2009.
   
Of the total, 14,093, or 8.7%, picked ‘‘shin,’’ followed by ‘‘kusuri’’ (medicine) and ‘‘sei’’ (relationship). ‘‘Shin’’ was chosen to reflect a year of new ideas, such as the new government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, the new lay jury system, the new highway toll system, as well as the new flu virus.

Kiyomizu temple chief priest Seihan Mori wrote the character with a dash of a calligraphy brush on a large ‘‘washi’’ Japanese paper which measures 1.5 meters long and 1.3 meters wide as rain soaked the ancient capital.
   
The kanji association has been conducting the poll on the year’s kanji each year since 1995.
   
The annual event had been feared not to be held as usual after the kanji association’s former head and his son were arrested and indicted earlier this year for allegedly causing their organization to suffer losses through its business practices involving their family firms.
   
Kiyomizu-dera, one of the best known Buddhist temples in Kyoto, reserved its decision to offer it as the venue of the announcement by the kanji organization.
   
In September, the kanji promotion body and the temple effectively agreed to continue the annual year-end event.

News reports

  • 0

    Gaijinocchio

    Aw. My vote was for "嘘"

  • 0

    silver79

    "Shin" what? new alright but not for the better very sadly...if anything new its a new level of "very bad"

  • 0

    alphawolf

    Gaijinocchio.. what's that kanji??? aw

  • 0

    chotto

    Gaijinocchio.. what's that kanji??? aw

    うそ。

  • 0

    stirfry

    i would have voted for the kanji for "same", or "stagnant"

  • 0

    thepro

    What's the kanji that means something that looks new but is really the same as before

  • 0

    Bungalow

    they are kidding. 'Shin' is kanji for this year because it was the next most used word after 'Obama' this year. . .Shin as in Shinagata influenza.

  • 0

    alphawolf

    thanks... yeah, it's uso.. aw

  • 0

    Beelzebub

    A rather inane choice. There is very little evidence of anything really "new". It's more like "business as usual".

  • 0

    ratpack

    Thank god they didn't go for "yes we can".

  • 0

    hedgehog88

    My vote was "減" (cut down, decrease, bonus etc)

  • 0

    combinibento

    I think 面 would be most fitting (mask)

  • 0

    sunny117

    I hope there would be new - unimaginably good events in the year(s) to come.


  • 0

    some14some

    Total entries received 161,365 and of the total 14,093 picked "shin" - Japan's population is approximately 127.614 million people...so what percentage of people decided the new kanji character???

  • 0

    temporaryVisa

    A JLPT Level 3 Kanji? How foreign friendly.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    They really have to stop with this whole 'kanji of the year' thing. It's so bogus most of the time. New what? Yes, it was the catch-phrase of Hatoyama, but my how THAT's been proven wrong. So what exactly is new about 'more of the same'?

  • 0

    TanakaTaro

    I agree with Bungalow, it isn't just about the new Government but also because of Shingata influenza.

    Kusuri would have been better though. Sakai Noriko, Manabu Oshio, plus tamiflu.

    A JLPT Level 3 Kanji? How foreign friendly.

    It's Level 4 actually, even more foreign friendly.

  • 0

    sharky1

    Shin: New: New bankruptcies, new unemployment, new suicide increase, new foreclosures, new corporate scandals, ...and the list goes on...

  • 0

    Weasel

    Wow that was original, so what's it going to be for 2010?

  • 0

    jellyrollhi

    Beautifully rendered there by that Obosan.

  • 0

    bcbrownboy

    It's a bit late, given 2009 is already old.

  • 0

    seggahme

    this kanji isn't "shin", its a "sin".

  • 0

    saintyukio

    How about the other 'shin', as in 'Kami'?

  • 0

    cheapshoesonlin

    This is a great post. you got cheap shoes online .I like cheap designer shoes as well give you designer shoes outlet

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