New Year's calligraphy event takes place at Kyoto shrine

People are taking part in an annual New Year's calligraphy event at a shrine in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto.

The Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is dedicated to the 9th-century scholar Sugawara Michizane, who is worshiped as a deity of learning and a master of calligraphy.

The shrine has taken anti-infection measures against the coronavirus again this year. It reduced the number of seats to 40 and set time limits for each participant.

On Monday, visitors brought their own brushes to write characters to express their New Year resolutions or wishes. They drew the characters for "chosen" or "challenge" as well as "genki," meaning cheerful, and "heiwa," which means peace.

A local high school student composed "hisho," which means soar or leap. She said she expressed hope that she will do her best in her club activity and study so that she can take a leap forward.

A sixth-grader from Osaka City wrote "hope." He said he came up with the characters as he wants to start junior high school with a feeling of optimism.

The event will run through Wednesday.