Connect with us


'Soar' Into the Future: Shoko Kanazawa Reveals New Year Kanji for 2024

With great brush strokes of the kanji '翔' (soar), calligraphy artist Shoko Kanazawa sent power and hope to reach new heights from Tokyo to the world.



Acclaimed calligrapher Shoko Kanazawa has chosen the character "翔" (sho) as the New Year kanji for 2024. 

Meaning "soar" or "fly high in the sky," the kanji is used in the first name of Major League Baseball player Shohei Ohtani. In 2023, Ohtani made headlines by signing a record-breaking contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is quite possible that "sho" will become the most attention-grabbing kanji of 2024.

"Sho" (soar) is the 2024 New Year kanji chosen by Shoko Kanazawa. (Photo: ©Sankei by Koki Uemura)

This is Kanazawa's seventh time choosing the New Year's kanji. She chose 翔 for 2024 with the hope that people will overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and soar powerfully into the future. This decision was made in collaboration with her mother, Yasuko Kanazawa.

Shoko Kanazawa writing vigorously with a huge brush. (Photo: ©Sankei by Koki Uemura)

Sending Power to the World

Dressed in an elegant kimono adorned with vermilion and light purple flowers, Kanazawa appeared at her gallery in Tokyo, which opened in 2022. After offering prayers to her late father, she wrote the character "翔" with speed and vigor, using a giant brush. The bold, black character looked like it was about to leap off the white washi paper.

After finishing her art, she addressed the crowd. "Happy New Year, everyone!" she exclaimed. "I wrote this with all my heart. I hope to send power to you all. Have a great year. Please also come to the gallery."

Shoko Kanazawa presents the New Year kanji. (Photo: ©Sankei by Koki Uemura)

The character "sho" holds personal significance for Kanazawa, being part of her first name, Shoko. In her closing remarks, she sent a fervent cheer to Shohei Ohtani, the superhero of the baseball world: "Shohei Ohtani, do your best. Hit many home runs!"

Shoko Kanazawa cheers for baseball player Shohei Ohtani. (Photo: ©Sankei by Koki Uemura)

The first-ever New Year's kanji selected by Kanazawa was 光 (light). In subsequent years, she has chosen "祈" (pray), "和" (harmony), "勝" (victory), "飛" (fly), and "愛" (love). Amid seemingly endless issues facing Japan and the world, Kanazawa hopes that people will soar freely to great heights in 2024. 


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: JAPAN Forward

Our Partners