The kanji character 令 (rei), meaning authoritarian command or iron-handed order, has been chosen as the character best representing Japan in the year 2019.
“Sugoi! Iron-handed order!” said one citizen on social media.
The character 令 (rei) makes up one half of the name of the new era 令和 (Reiwa), which began this year when Emperor Naruhito ascended to the throne. 令和 (Reiwa) means ‘submissive to commands’.
The head priest at the world-famous Kiyomizu Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Seihan Mori, drew the character 令 using a ridiculously large calligraphy brush with bristles the size of a human head or double the size of a gaijin head.
“This matches perfectly with what my 2019 was like,” says 77-year-old salaryman Takabata Gou.
“And every other year since I was born.”