Kanji of the Year 2011

The official Kanji of the year 2011

Every year around this time the Japan Association of Kanji Aptitude Test (日本漢字能力検定協会) announces the kanji of the year. The announcement is made in Kyoto at the famous Kiyomizu-dera temple through a priest who writes the chosen kanji on a big white board.

The kanji of the year 2012 was announced on December 13:


Kizuna means bonds, bonding. This kanji was chosen through an annual survey of about 490 thousand Japanese. 12.4% of respondents have proposed the kanji Kizuna which made it the most popular one for the year 2011. The word Kizuna often was used to express solidarity and support for the victims of the 3/11 disaster.

The kanji ranking second and third were 災 for disaster and 震 for shaking/trembling. Both other kanji therefore also related to the 3/11 catastrophe.

What would be your kanji of the year and why?


  1. The name of the temple in Kyoto where the announcement was made is Kiyomizu-dera, (清水寺) not Kyomizu-dera.

  2. And just look at that 紅葉!

  3. Marco Antonio Román Hernández says:

    i will learn it!! thanks!!

  4. I’ve been to Kiyomizu-dera at least 8 times, never knew that there was a “Kanji of the year” shown there!

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