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Kana Game

Kevin Wald

Each vertical line of the puzzle is the result of rotating (clockwise or counterclockwise, in alternation) a horizontal line consisting of two Japanese words written in hiragana, with a horizontal line in between. The red portions of these words would ordinarily be written in kanji rather than hiragana. Because of homophones, which kanji is intended is ambiguous in some cases; however, kanji can in each case be chosen so that the first kanji is equal to the second plus an extra element:

Treating each horizontal line as a minus sign, and performing the "subtraction" to leave just the extra element, we get:

So the answer is KOMEI.