'Rei' named the Kanji of the Year for 2019
NHK -- Dec 13
The first of the two kanji characters used in Japan's new imperial era name, "Reiwa," has been chosen as Kanji of the Year.

A Kyoto-based organization promoting the use of kanji announced on Thursday that the character "rei" was chosen for 2019.

The selection was made in a public contest entered by more than 216,000 people.

In a public display of the selection, the chief Buddhist priest at Kiyomizu Temple used a brush and ink to write the character on a large sheet of Japanese washi paper.

The event's organizer said "rei" reflects the Japanese people's desire for happiness and a brighter future in the new era, which started when Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne on May 1.

The annual Kanji of the Year event started in 1995.

2019年の世相を1字で表す「今年の漢字」が令和の「令」に決まり、日本漢字能力検定協会が12日、京都市東山区の清水寺で発表した。森清範貫主が縦1・5メートル、横1・3メートルの和紙に特大の筆で揮毫した。「今年の漢字」は25回目。昨年は、自然災害の多発などから「災」が選ばれた。
News sources: NHK, Kyodo
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