In a survey conducted by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation with the general public, the word “kin” (金), which means gold, was voted as Kanji of the Year, or the single best Chinese character that symbolised the whole of 2012 for Japan. It was announced last December 12, also known as “Kanji Day”.
The word probably resonated with the public for a number of “gold worthy” reasons. First of all, the 38 medal haul of Japan in the London Olympics was their highest ever showing in the Summer event. Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka won the Nobel Prize in medicine for his pioneering work in adult stem cell research. This year, the Tokyo Skytree opened in Sumida Ward, Tokyo and is the tallest broadcasting tower in the world.
The results were announced at Kyoto’s Kiyomizu Temple, where the chief priest Seihan Mori wrote the winning character on a 150 x 130 centimeter washi (Japanese paper) using a giant calligraphy brush. Coming in second in the poll was the word “wa” or band, to commemorate the annular solar eclipse that occurred this year. It also meant coming together as a people, whether in the Olympics or in the ongoing reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Third place was “shima” or islands, probably in response to the ongoing island territorial disputes between Japan, China and South Korea.
[ via NZweek.com ]