Every year on December 12th, the chief priest of Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto reveals a kanji that was chosen to be the most representative of that year in Japan. The kanji is selected by popular vote, and is finalized by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Foundation. This year’s kanji is the rather depressing 災, meaning “disaster.” Japan was beat down by some pretty rough weather, from crazy typhoons to the earthquake in Hokkaido (is that considered weather?) to the record breaking heat this summer.
The runner up was 平, as 2018 will be the last year of Emperor Akihito’s reign, the 平成 Era.
Here is the link to my post on 2017’s kanji of the year Kanji of the Year (今年の漢字)
2017 and 2018 have had pretty grim kanji, so we can only hope things will brighten up next year. Please.