2019 Kanji of the Year - 令

The Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation (日本漢字能力検定協会) has selected「令」as the 2019 Kanji of the Year:

WaniKani definitions:

  • 令 (Level 11 kanji)
  • On’yomi: れい
  • Meaning: Orders

Part of 令和れいわ , the current era of Japan.

The 日本漢字能力検定協会 (Nihon Kanji Nōryoku Kentei Kyōkai) is the organization behind the Kanji Kentei exam.

Video of the unveiling ceremony:


Well… that kinda feels like they didn’t strain themselves too much on the judging…


I know you were listing the WaniKani meaning, so not trying to correct you or anything, but just in case anyone missed it from when the era name was chosen, the meaning of 令 in 令和 is “auspicious.”

It’s not used that way in many commonly used modern words. One example would be 令嬢 れいじょう (honorific word for someone’s daughter or a young girl).

Shout out to all the people who thought there were too many “girl” words already.


Better than last year’s ‘disaster’ at least!

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i like girl words. keep em coming.

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Tbh it makes me a little uncomfortable how much 令 is catching on. People are getting awfully complacent with an increasingly nationalistic worldview…

But enough about politics, we’re here to learn kanji, right? Nothing political about that! Ha ha ha. Ha. Comrades.

For the record, I think 和 or 新 would have been excellent choices

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What do you mean by that.

I of course don’t have access to people’s inner thoughts and ideas about the kanji, but since it was announced it has made me feel a little unsure of the intentions of the government. And it has been reported on at length as to how 令和 can be interpreted. So to see it become this popular raises similar feelings of uncertainty in me about the public at large.

Oh, that again. We did that topic.

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