In Japan Each Year is Represented by a Kanji Character

Ayako wrote to me about how each year a Chinese character (called a kanji) is chosen in Japan that best represents the year.  Here’s what she wrote:

Hi Lisa,

I wanted to tell you about this year’s Kanji.  We choose the best kanji at end of each year in December – it’s an annual event.  This year it’s "絆”which sounds like kizuna.  That means " bond ".  I agree that kizuna is really the best fit because the huge quake that hit Japan last March. 2011.  It’s a special year for Japan.  Kizuna has deeper meanings  than just the word "friendship".

imageNow in Japan we consider our KIZUNA (bond) with our family and also appreciate kizuna with many foreign countries.

I can find this kanji around here in shops or newspapers.  Also the online newspaper, Daily Yomiuri shows pictures of the Kiyomizu temple priest at Kyoto writing this kanji  "絆”with our shodo (Japanese calligraphy).  Sincerely, Ayako

Thanks for writing about kizuna.  It’s interesting.  The Japanese people are in our hearts and minds after all they’ve been through this year. 

-Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 10:58 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Customs and Traditions, Holidays Around the World, Japan, Japanese, Languages, Words & Phrases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “In Japan Each Year is Represented by a Kanji Character”

  1. Ayako Egawa Says:

    Hi, Lisa.

    This one looks really great. Thank you.
    Perfect with the picture.

    Anyway what Lisa is doing is really respectful.
    I’m so lucky to meet Lisa.

    Best wishes. Ayako

  2. Lisa Says:

    This year’s Kanji character is ” gold ” 金 (representing 2012).

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