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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chinese Character of the Year: "False"


Every December the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation chooses a single Chinese character that is supposed to best represent the past year.

Submissions are sent in from around Japan.

Then, at Kyoto's Kiyomizu Temple, the head priest reveals the kanji that has been chosen. On December 12, Seihan Mori drew the chosen character on a sign measuring 1.5 meters high by 1.3 meters wide.

This year's "winner" was 偽, which can be read "gi" or "nise" (nee-seh). The meaning is "false."

In addition to the usual political and business-world scandals, 2007 witnessed many cases of mislabeling by some of the big names in the food industry: Senba Kicho, Shiroi Koibito, McDonald's, Akafuku, Fujiya, and more.

The sign bearing the kanji will be on display at the Temple until December 31.

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