The year 2018 is coming to an end. some people it was a great year, and other people it wasn't so great. Japan, an organization conducted a survey to ask people the word they thought best described 2018. The winner this survey was the word "disaster". The kanji (Chinese character) that Japanese people chose means "disaster or misfortune". The organization said people chose the kanji disaster because the many natural disasters to hit Japan 2018. Japan was hit deadly typhoons, earthquakes, heavy rains that caused widespread destruction, and a killer heatwave. Hundreds people lost their lives in these disasters and many roads and homes were destroyed.
The organization is called the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. It has conducted a "word the year" survey annually 1995. This year, it received suggestions 193,214 people. The second most popular kanji was the character "peace". Last year, "north" was the winner. This was because increasing tensions North Korea's nuclear tests. The rest the world was also hit by devastating natural disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes and tsunami. Wars also raged the world, especially in Syria and Yemen. There was also a lot suffering because immigration - people trying to move to other countries to find a new life. People hope the next kanji will be "happiness".