Dr Kanji – Kanji of the Year 2013

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Who is this Dr. Kanji, this master (or mistress) of the Japanese language?

Dr Kanji

There have been suggestions that this mysterious Dr. Kanji is actually related somehow to the legendary Big Foot. It has also been said that he use to swim in Loch Ness…with the monster. It has also been said that Dr Kanji is actually The Stig from BBC’s Top Gear. Either way, Dr. Kanji knows his/her stuff when comes to the tricky Chinese characters.

Each year Japan announces the official most popular word/Kanji character of the year. Dr Kanji suggests the following Kanji as the front runners –

倍 ‘Bai
This character means double or twice.

富 ‘Fu’ or ‘Tomi’
This is the chrachter meaning wealth

輪 ‘Wa’ or ‘Rin’
This charachter means ring or circle

With the huge announcement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Dr. Kanji plucks for 輪 with 五輪 literally meaning ‘five rings’.


This is of course very apt with the Olympics and the huge wave of positivity that swept across Japan after the announcement back in September 2013.

The Olympics news was a huge result for Tokyo and international backing for a country that had seen media hype about the effects of Fukushima and the Tsunami. Tokyo will be a fantastic host and it is a fantastic city.

2012’s most popular Kanji (picture above) was ‘Kin’ or ‘Gold’ which was said the represent the year with the countries gold medal haul at the London Olympics as well as a Japanese winner of the Nobel Prize and the wealth brought by the new Tokyo Skytree.

Tokyo Skytree

2020 seems like such a long way off, but the announcement for most popular Kanji 2013 will be made on December 12th.

Will Dr Kanji be right? – He/She might even be the judge?!

STOP PRESS 12/11/13

The Kanji of the year has been revealed at Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto and Dr Kanji was correct!….wait a minute…is that Dr Kanji?

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