Kizuna: Japan`s kanji of the year!
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Last Updated: Saturday, December 24, 2011, 14:27
Tokyo: The word "kizuna", meaning bonds or connections between people, has been chosen as Japan's kanji (pictorial script) of 2011.

The kanji for "kizuna" emerged top of a public poll for the character that best summed up the year.

Half a million people took part in the annual poll for the kanji character, conducted by Japan's Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation.

About 60,000 people nominated "kizuna", but the runner -up was much less optimistic -- "wazawai" means disaster, the 'BBC' online reported.

In fact, for Japan, 2011 was dominated by the earthquake and tsunami in March. The disasters led to unprecedented numbers of Japanese helping one another.

After the tsunami smashed into Japan's northeast coast on March 11, killing thousands and engulfing entire communities, people's stoicism and their determination to pull together won international praise.

In April, the then prime minister Naoto Kan thanked the world for its help in a letter entitled "Kizuna -- the Bonds of Friendship".

And when Japan unexpectedly beat the United States to win the women's football World Cup, "kizuna" forged by the players' teamwork was cited with pride.


First Published: Saturday, December 24, 2011, 14:27

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