Kanji for the year 2008 : 『変』
For further informaton, check the Wikipedia.
In Japan, they started using a 漢字, 【Kanji】 (which means Chinese character)
to represent the whole year from 1995.
For this year, the keyword is “change” as in the frequent changing of the Japanese Prime Ministers (Abe to Fukuda to Aso), Mr. Obama winning the American Presidency elections spreading the word ‘change’ globally and also the obvious and serious economical and ecological changes around the world. The word “変” is read as “hen” (for the Chinese reading 音読み) and “kawari” (for the Japanese reading 訓読み). It mainly means change but it also means weird. There were many changes in this year and of course, a very weird year indeed as well. Anyway, we all are hoping for better changes in the world, no matter where we are. What will year 2009 have in store for us ? Let’s get surprised. Hopefully, surprised in a good way.