Jiji/自字

With Jiji/自字 (lit. “personal characters”) I was curious about what Japanese people would do when presented with the opportunity to assigm meaning to a kanji they were unfamiliar with. While most Japanese know between two and three thousand kanji, there are thousands more rare and unused characters that exist. For this project, I selected a few dozen and paired them with blanks. I then invited people to fill in the blanks freely with their own meanings for the characters. People came up with various ideas such as someone who balances speaking and listening in conversation, the ability to face a harsh situation, and Mother Earth.