The Chinese characters that define 2015

By Xu Jing ( ) Updated: 2015-12-16 15:40:35

The Chinese characters that define 2015

安 or safety is chose as the annual kanji of 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

In several Asian countries where Chinese characters are widely used, such as Malaysia, Japan and Singapore, people have been voting for the most representative characters of the year in recent years. The polls, normally organized by academics or the media, are an interesting way of determining which events or incidents have affected the people most in a calendar year.

Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Association announced at Kiyomizu Temple of Kyoto on Tuesday that 安(pronounced an) or "safety" was selected as the kanji of 2015 which best summarizes the year's national mood in the country. It won 5,632 of the 129,647 votes received in total.

According to Japanese local media, the Abe administration forced controversial security-related bills through the upper house of the parliament since September despite strong protests from the Japanese people. People are concerned about safety issues as the risks of Japan being involved in a war have been obviously increased.

Japanese Defence Secretary Gen Nakatani told Japanese journalists at a press conference on Tuesday that it shows Japanese people are eager for the "safety" of the future. "In addition to the concern over the new security bill, Japanese people hope to acquire safety and stability in both politics and economy," he said.

爆(soar)was next only to "safety" with 4,929 votes. The phrase 爆买(Bakugai or explosive buying)frequently appears on Japanese media during the whole year as busloads of Chinese travelers arrived at duty-free stores in the shopping districts throughout Japan, purchasing items including rice cookers and high-tech toilet seats.

战(war), 结(marriage), 五(five), 赏(reward), 伪(fake), 争(dispute), 变(change) and 胜(win) were also listed as the top 10 kanji for the year in Japan.

The annual kanji selection event has been held since 1995. Last year, 税 or "tax" was chosen the annual kanji as the consumption tax rate was raised from 5 percent to 8 percent.

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