The kanji character "変" (hen, change) was the top pick among Japanese firms to summarize 2023, a year that many saw as marked by turbulence, according to a research firm.

The character, picked by nearly 60 firms, was followed by characters “耐" (tai, patience) and “忍" (nin, endurance) according to Teikoku Databank, which conducted an online survey of almost 1,000 companies.

"There have been too many abnormalities this year, ranging from extreme weather and surging prices to (the war between) Russia and Ukraine and the Middle East situation. We had to change to cope with them," a wholesaler was quoted by the research firm as saying.