Friday, December 14, 2007

What a Year in Japan

The top Kanji of the Year have been announced at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto, Japan and judging from the top three selections, it appears not to have been a very auspicious year in the Land of Wa.
Number one was 偽 (nise/gi) which means fake or deceptive. This came from a string of scandals about fake news reporting, fake brand name goods, fake expiration dates on food and such. The second choice was 食 (shoku) meaning food. This is connected to the first choice, since food sold as one thing often contained something else all together (ground pork sold as beef by Meat Hope) and well established food manufacturers being exposed for using expired ingredients in their products. The third choice was 嘘 (uso) means lies. Politicians lied. Businesses lied. Nothing new, of course. They've all been doing that for years.
I wonder if anyone is going to take the words of Kiyomizu's chief priest to heart and use the disgraces of this year as an opportunity to turn things around in the coming year. It would be wonderful if they did, but I won't be holding my breath.

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