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I keep seeing this new Chinese character on social media:

enter image description here

What is this?

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  • Someone wanted to edit 座 into the title, but I'm thinking we could put the IDS there instead. Would this be right: ⿸广⿻土人人? Or just describe it: 交错入座的「座」字? – Mou某 Dec 29 '20 at 16:54
  • ⿻土人人 is not right, maybe ⿻⿻人土人 is OK. The whole thing should be ⿸广⿻⿻人土人. – dROOOze Dec 29 '20 at 21:35
  • @Mo. I suggested 座 for the title. Please go ahead if you have a better suggestion. – Jonas Stein Dec 30 '20 at 23:22
  • I'd suggest ⿸广◰人⿷土人 where ◰ is a place-holder for a non-existing IDC (Ideographic Description Character) which I thought was added to Unicode at some point but now I can't find it in v13. FWIW personally I only ever use ⿻ as a last resort. I feel unhappy about the missing ◰ as it is also needed to describe characters like 头 and so on. – John Frazer Jan 4 at 11:16
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Technically it isn't a new Chinese character but a Japanese character.

Eileen Chow posted about this on Twitter saying:

Winner of 2020’s new kanji contest in Japan: the character 座 (seat), ingeniously redesigned as a neologism for “social distance.”

Note the two 人 (person) radicals in the original 座 are now positioned farther away from one another!

You can find a whole list of competition candidates on the official Sousaku Kanji website.


On her twitter thread Eileen Chow also shows off some other characters with explanations. Here's another interesting one for the times:

enter image description here

I like this one because it is a bilingual visual pun - a 76yo entrant transformed the bottom half of the character 会 (meeting) into a “Z” to make...you guessed it, “web conferencing via Zoom”.


Seeing as they are all 漢字 - they could be easily adoptable into Chinese.

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  • 30 years from now these would be "standard" characters taught in schools. – Wayne Cheah Dec 29 '20 at 2:29
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    it is a coined character, ^_^, it suggests avoid sitting in same table. I don't think this glyph will be adopted, instead it is just for entertainment. – Daniel Yang Dec 29 '20 at 5:27
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    That all depends on how long we need to keep “social distancing” for, I guess. – Mou某 Dec 29 '20 at 10:45
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    I'm so curious what all these new characters describe! Unfortunately, I don't know Japanese. – musialmi Dec 31 '20 at 5:25

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