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 “hot,” pronounced sho or atsu.
This character was chosen because of the record high temperatures experienced in Japan this year.