The kanji an, which denotes safety or peace, was chosen as this year’s Kanji of the Year in Japan.
It was selected based on votes cast by the general public. Of the 129,647 entries received this year, an ranked at the top with 5,632, according to the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation.
At Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, where the result was announced, chief priest Seihan Mori handwrote the winning character using a giant calligraphy brush on a sheet of washi (Japanese paper) 1.5 meters high and 1.3 meters wide. It was the 21st annual poll since the event began in 1995.
Last year, zei (tax) was chosen as the kanji symbolizing the year that people faced greater financial burdens following an increase in the consumption tax.