This character （和） is pronounced wa.
Wa has several meanings, though perhaps the best way to grasp the overall concept is to imagine an atmosphere in which a group of people can comfortably and amiably coexist. The word also carries connotations of maintaining harmony and getting along with each other. The character is included in the word heiwa ( 平和), which means “peace.” The original meaning conveys the sense of a group working together peacefully and helping one another.
The character wa is also used to refer to Japan and Japanese people and culture. For example, in the term washoku ( 和食), shoku means “cuisine,” giving this compound the meaning “Japanese cuisine.”
Wa is tremendously valued by the Japanese, and it is a word that directly expresses the spirit of the Japanese people. In sharing wa with our friends (tomodachi) around the world, we hope to play a role in bringing peace to the world.