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The kanji character 密 (“mitsu”), used repeatedly in calls to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, has been picked as the kanji best describing this year’s social mood in Japan, a Kyoto-based academic organization said Monday.

In making the announcement at the 26th annual year-end event organized by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation, chief Buddhist priest Seihan Mori of the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto wrote the character on a piece of paper 1.5 meters in length and 1.3 meters in width with a giant calligraphy brush.

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