This is a little bit outdated subject but I want to show this Kanji to the visitors of this site.
In Japan each end of the year we choose one Kanji, as the Kanji of the Year, which express well the year, and we selected the kanji "絆 (きずな-kizuna, バン-ban, ハン-han) " for 2011. The meaning of this kanji is "something to bond" between objects or "bonds" between (or among) loved ones such as bonds of family members (and more strongly this kanji has meaning of unbreakable bonds among loved ones).
So now you may wondering why this kanji was chosen as the kanji of 2011. Last year we encountered enormous earthquake and many people lost their loved ones such as parents, kids, relatives, friends and more. And we have re-recognized the importance of "絆 (bonds)" among loved ones after their loss. Because we have re-recognized heartfelt helps and supports which were given to us from lost ones and the people around us in our daily life without any return.
And after the earthquake, we (Japan) were helped by several countries and many people of foreign countries. We recognize these helps of foreign countries and foreign peoples as the results of絆 between Japan and other countries or between Japanese people and foreign peoples.
That’s the reason why we choose "絆" as the Kanji of The Year 2011 in Japan.
Here are some common words in which絆 is used.
"親子の絆（おやこのきずな-oyako no kizuna）" This word means the bonds between parents and their kids.
"家族の絆（かぞくのきずな-kazoku no kizuna）" This word means the bonds among a family members.
"地域の絆（ちいきのきずな-chiiki no kizuna）" This word means the bonds among the people of an area.
"世界の絆（せかいのきずな-sekai no kizuna）" This word means the bonds among the countries of the world or the bonds among the peoples of the world.
Most of the Japanese people has re-recognized the all of above "絆" after the earthquake and thought with thankful mind that we had to keep mind "絆" always in our daily life.