Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on December 2013

The kanji of the year for 2013 輪 rin (ring) as announced by the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society.

Chosen for a number of reasons, one of the most prominent being for its meaning “ring”, or “circle”, alluding to the five rings of the Olympics. The word can also mean circle of friends, connections between people/cooperation, in reference to people gathering together to help after several natural disasters this year (tornadoes, typhoons etc) as well as continued support for Tohoku. Also with Japan qualifying for the soccer World Cup, Tohoku Rakuten Eagles winning (coming full circle in a way after the disaster) Rin also represents teamwork and togetherness.

Artist: Kei Shimizu. Courtesy of Carré Moji. Carré Moji