At the end of every year, the Japan Kanji [i.e. Chinese character] Proficiency Certification Society solicits from the public the kanji that best sums up the past year.
A ceremony takes place at Kyoto's Kiyomizu-dera Temple where the selected kanji is publicly put to parchment by the head priest, presently Seihan Mori.
The kanji selected this year was the character for bonds, ties or connections pronounced kizuna.
This character was chosen due to the large level of support and help ordinary Japanese gave to the victims of the earthquake and tsunmai in March this year that devastated the Tohoku area of the country north east of Tokyo.
The kanji chosen in 2010 was sho meaning hot, due to the record summer temperatures experienced that year.
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