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Character for tax (税) picked as kanji of 2023

25 Comments

The kanji for tax (税), zei, was chosen as the single most representative character symbolic of the social mood in Japan this year, a Kyoto-based organization said Tuesday.

In Kyoto, chief Buddhist priest Seihan Mori of Kiyomizu temple drew the character with a giant calligraphy brush on washi, or Japanese paper, 1.5 meters high and 1.3 meters wide, at the famous location.

The selection for the 29th annual poll run by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation is based on votes cast by the general public.

The foundation received 147,878 answers. 税 had the highest number with 5,976. The second most popular kanji was 暑 (hot after Japan had a record hot summer), which got 5,571 votes. Third with 5,011 votes was 戦, war (which was No. 1 in 2022), followed by 虎 (tiger, referring to the Hanshin Tigers winning the Japan Series) with 4,674 and 勝 (win or victory) with 4,653 votes.

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25 Comments
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This country can be very strange sometimes.

In Kyoto, chief Buddhist priest Seihan Mori of Kiyomizu temple

drew the character with a big smile on his face as his organisation doesn't pay any tax on its collections.

16 ( +26 / -10 )

Certainly quite ironic as Buddhist monks don't pay tax.

19 ( +25 / -6 )

The kanji for tax (税), zei, was chosen as the single most representative character symbolic of the social mood in Japan this year, a Kyoto-based organization said Tuesday.

As has already been said, this is coming from an organization of a privileged caste that does not bother with the petty worldly things like tax. Though they do like to amass wealth and luxury.

For the LDP/Japan Inc. combine taxation scheme; (逆進課税) , regressive taxation would be more apropos.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

perfect choice..everybody is haunted by tax in Japan

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Elegantly written by a priest who is exempt.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Well I am sure Buddhist monks are paying consumption tax on their can coffee and what-have-you.

That’s why it is the “best” tax of a bad bunch.

At least this year was not 変 again… but my suspicion is that we ain’t seen nothing yet when it comes to tax. Given the massive whale of public debt that the government has racked up, and continues to inflate further and further.

With inflation, and the income system, I expect to see people suffering from declining real wages, but also falling into higher tax brackets, as time goes by.

Until finally Japan has another revolution to reset things back to a more natural state. Hopefully Argentina is going to show us the way here.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

I would have voted for the kanji for "useless" to describe Kishida and the other LDP muppets who are destroying Japan.

-6 ( +21 / -27 )

The company name, selected from among more than 140,000 suggestions from fans,

More than 140,000 was the number of suggestions for "Starto" and now 147,878 suggestions for a kanji. Are suggestions always around 140,000?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Anyone affected by "invoice seido" from October 2023 will pay more tax. I can't think of anyone else though, and the tv talk I've seen about the kanji didn't mention freelancers and invoice seido.

My main interest at the moment is how the university fees for large families thing announced last week will be implemented.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Kishida's favorite word.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Couldn’t they find any worse word than tax? Is that the best they could do? I could have given them some tips if i knew about.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

We pay too much if it in Japan!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

 The second most popular kanji was 暑 (hot after Japan had a record hot summer),

Thanks to climate change there are still decades of chances for the runner up to win.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I would have voted for the kanji for "useless" to describe Kishida and the other LDP muppets who are destroying Japan.

Not sure there's a singular to describe this (happy to stand corrected). 下らない is the word for it.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Taxation is Theft.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Our patience has been taxed by this government. Our good will has been taxed. Our reputation has been taxed.

Seems appropriate.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I would have chosen 貧 for poverty, since that has what become of the people here due to inflation.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Ironic that a priest is writing the kanji for tax for next year.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Yes, let's not forget the increased tax revenues from inflation. There's no way to increase the consumption tax. They forgot about inflation. What's their big idea now?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

After a busy day at work writing Tax on a big white piece of paper the priest drives home in his Temple-provided luxury car to his Temple-provided stylish home where he will snack on expensive fruits sent to him as an offering.

He sure knows about hardship.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well, that is certainly not inspiring.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

nothing changes, noone pays more, noone pays less.

I disagree.

Since the 'inbois seido' came into effect companies that used to pay me in round sums, always rounding up so that the pre-income tax figure ended in a couple of 0s, now send me invoices that give figures down to the last yen. Our local tofu vendor who comes round once a week complains that he needs to prepare a bagful of one-yen coins to give out detailed change that wasn't necessary before when prices were rounded off to the nearest ten yen. Our local supermarket has started adding the consumption tax on at the end instead of including it in the price.

While someone may be paying less, obviously someone is definitely paying more somewhere, and I reckon it's the little guy, as always; The small businesses, the end customer.

Not to mention all the extra paperwork involved in keeping track of all those loose yen.

As for the kanji in the photo - what a mess! Couldn't they find a proper calligrapher to write it neatly without splashing ink al over the place?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Get ready people, the year of the TAX is about to empty your wallets so we can build up Defense and support two wars.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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