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