Do you know what the “Kanji of the year” is for this year ? it's 'Rin' for 2013. Read this blog to learn Japanese Kanji and watch the video to practice your Japanese listening skills.

Kanji of the year


By SENO Chiaki


2013年の漢字は「輪(わ/りん)」です。 2020年東京オリンピック[五輪]の開催決定や、国内外で起きた災害からの復興に支援の輪が広がったことなどが選出の理由のようです。



kanji zan

しなければならないことをやり残してしまって、いつも慌てていました。「残」は、残念・残業・心残りなど、あまり良くない意味で使われることが多いです。しかし、2013年は「心残り」ではなく、いつまでも「心に残る」素敵な思い出もたくさんありました。「残り物には福がある」とも言います。来年もよい結果を「残せる」ように努力します! 皆さんの「今年の漢字」は何ですか?

To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.



2013年(ねん)の漢字(かんじ)は「輪(わ/りん)」です。 2020年東京(とうきょう)オリンピック[五輪(ごりん)]の開催(かいさい)決定(けってい)や、国内外(こくないがい)で起(お)きた災害(さいがい)からの復興(ふっこう)に支援(しえん)の輪(わ)が広(ひろ)がったことなどが選出(せんしゅつ)の理由(りゆう)のようです。


しなければならないことをやり残(のこ)してしまって、いつも慌(あわ)てていました。「残(ざん)」は、残念(ざんねん)・残業(ざんぎょう)・心残(こころのこ)りなど、あまり良(よ)くない意味(いみ)で使(つか)われることが多(おお)いです。しかし、2013年は「心残り」ではなく、いつまでも「心(こころ)に残(のこ)る」素敵(すてき)な思(おも)い出(で)もたくさんありました。「残(のこ)り物(もの)には福(ふく)がある」とも言(い)います。来年(らいねん)もよい結果(けっか)を「残(のこ)せる」ように努力(どりょく)します! 皆(みな)さんの「今年(ことし)の漢字(かんじ)」は何(なん)ですか?

The “Kanji of the year” is a one single character chosen to represent the sign of the times for the whole year was announced recently. This done at an annual ceremony held by the The Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. After the seeking public participation in the choosing of the Kanji, the character with the most entries is chosen as “Kanji of the year”.

The character or “Kanji of the year” for 2013 is 「輪」which is read as 'wa' or 'rin'. This was apparently due to the fact that the 2020 Summer Olympics (5 rings) were chosen to be held in Tokyo and with all the disasters that occurred domestically and internationally, this was a year in which our circle of disaster relief and aid was widened.

I have also been thinking of my own personal “Kanji of the year”. A lot of various things happened this year but, if I have to summarize it in one character it would have to be...「 残」 which can be read as 'zan' or 'noko-su' or 'noko-ru' (meaning left-over).

It was a year in which I was constantly in a rush and I have still a lot of things that I have left over . The character 'zan' is often used in negative meaning words like 残念 (unfortunate) or 残業 (overtime work) or 心残 (regret). But 2013 has not been a year of regret but a year “with a lot of enduring memories”, in which I made a lot of wonderful memories. There is a proverb that reads, 'Nokori mono ni fuku ga arimasu' which means (which roughly translates as; there is unexpected good in things left behind). I will endeavour to make next year “a year when I can leave good results”. What is your “Kanji of the year”?

世相(せそう)  social conditions; a phase [an aspect] of life; signs of the times

輪(わ/りん)   a circle; a ring; a link; a wheel; a loop; a hoop

公募(こうぼ)する  to invite public participation; advertise; recruit; solicit

五輪(ごりん)  five rings; the Olympics

国内外(こくないがい)  domestic and foreign; inside and outside the country

輪(わ)が 広(ひろ)がる  to have a wider circle

やり残(のこ)す  to leave a task uncompleted

慌(あわ)てる  to be in a hurry [rush]

残念(ざんねん)な  unfortunate; regrettable; disappointing

残業(ざんぎょう)  overtime work

心残(こころのこ)り  (to feel) regret

心(こころ)に 残(のこ)る  to stay in one's heart; to be enduringly memorable; to be unforgettable

残(のこ)り物(もの)には 福(ふく)がある  There is luck in the last helping; The last one is the best (one).

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