The Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation has declared “war” ... as the kanji of the year for 2022, that is.

Given the battle lines drawn with the somewhat boring pick of 金 (kin, gold) as last year’s 今年の漢字 (kotoshi no kanji, kanji of the year), it was fitting and even a bit more satisfying that 戦 (sen, battle/struggle) won the vote this year.

On its own, 戦 can also be read as ikusa, and you’ll see it used in words such as 戦争 (sensō, war) and 戦化粧 (ikusageshō, warpaint). The kanji is also used in the verbs 戦う (tatakau, to battle), 戦く (ononoku/wananaku, to tremble/shudder) and 戦ぐ (soyogu, to rustle).