Kizuna, meaning “bonds” has been chosen as kanji of 2011.

At a ceremony in Kyoto’s famous Kiyomizu temple, chief priest Seihan Mori unveiled the Chinese character, voted for by Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation.

Runner up was “wazawai” meaning disaster followed by “shin”, meaning tremor, reflecting the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011.

Each year the foundation selects a kanji character to represent the previous year based on votes by the public.

In April 2011 Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan wrote a letter entitled “Kizuna”, thanking the world for supporting Japan after the series disasters that left over 10,000 people dead.

External Link:
Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation