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Photo Journal: Symbolizing 2018

(Mainichi/Ai Kawahira)

Seihan Mori, chief priest of Kiyomizu Temple, writes "sai" meaning "disaster" for the kanji of the year in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward on Dec. 12, 2018. "Sai" was selected as the kanji best representing the times by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation, amid numerous natural calamities this year. The general public submitted 193,214 entries between Nov. 1 and Dec. 5, and "sai" topped the voting at 20,858. "Hei" meaning "calm" came second at 16,117, and "shu" meaning "end" took third at 11,013. The calligraphy will be on display at the main temple building until Dec. 21. Mori said of the character, "I hope there will be no disasters next year."

    (Japanese original by Hajime Nakatsugawa, Kyoto Bureau)

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