At the end of each year the Japanese public chooses a kanji that best sums up the year as a whole. The kanji for 2011 has been chosen as kizuna meaning bond or connection between people. The kanji is then ceremoniously calligraphed onto a large white canvas at Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. I was there in December so I was aware it was going to happen but I had forgotten to post about it until now.
The reason for the choice has been put down to the strengthening of bonds between the Japanese as a nation and between Japan and the rest of the world as a result of the earthquake and tsunami and the aftermath of which dominated 2011. I’m definitely glad it was a positive one in the end. It would have been so easy to have selected something negative after what happened last year.