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.

The character garnered 28,401 votes, or 13.65%, out of the 208,025 cast in a poll, the foundation said.