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Nominations for Top Buzzwords of 2014 are In

posted on by Eric Stimson
"Kabe don," Yōkai Watch, "Let It Go" among them

Every year the Jiyuu Kokumin Sha holds awards for the top buzzwords in Japan that year called the Ryuukougo Taishou. On November 19 the 50 nominees for this year's awards were announced.

The nominee list is a snappy overview of the top trends in Japanese public (and particularly web) discourse over the year. Of interest to anime and manga fans is "kabe don," a shoujo manga trend in which a girl is pinned against a wall by a taller boy in dramatic romantic scenes. It was satirized this year in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun and featured in advertising campaigns by Morinaga Milk, Domino's and Sanrio. Yo-kai Watch, the latest multimedia franchise to win the hearts of Japanese youth, also featured on the list.

Here are the other 48 buzzwords.

  • shining women (Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's term for successful career women role models)
  • There are STAP cells (uttered by Haruko Obokata at a press conference; she later admitted to manipulating data)
  • backbuilding (a weather phenomenon that devastated Okinawa and Niigata Prefectures in July)
  • decomposed granite (responsible for landslides in Hiroshima in August)
  • trickle-down (Abe is adopting this economic philosophy)
  • dengue fever (which reemerged in Tokyo this year)
  • No way~ no, no (used in the routines of the comedy duo Nippon Elekiter Rengou)
  • 2025 problem (In 2025, 25% of Japan's population will be over 75.)
  • dangerous drug (newly rebranded from "loophole drugs")
  • Ice Bucket Challenge (an effort to raise money for Lou Gehrig's disease research by dumping a bucket of ice water over people)
  • chore harassment (Japanese men claim to get insulted or criticized when they help with the housework.)
  • maternity harassment (companies discriminating against women on maternity leave)
  • "Just as I am" (the Japanese translation of "Let It Go," the hit song from Disney's Frozen)
  • rerigō (the Japanese pronunciation of "Let It Go")
  • kopitto ("thoroughly" in Yamanashi dialect; used in the TV drama Hanako & Anne)
  • Go-kigenyou ("How do you do?", also used in Hanako & Anne)
  • Little Honda (soccer player Keisuke Honda claims he has one within himself)
  • J-marriage (marrying into the military (jieitai) is trendy)
  • ghostwriter (It was revealed this year that Takashi Niigaki ghostwrote Mamoru Samuragouchi's compositions)
  • Tamoloss (the loss felt when longtime comedian Tamori retired)
  • mild Yankee (a milder version of Japan's youth rebels)
  • revenge porno (spreading pornographic images of ex-lovers for revenge)
  • JK business (High school girls (joshikousei) have started acting as hostesses and prostitutes)
  • beautiful scenery (photography books of beautiful scenery are trending)
  • Legend (the nickname of Olympic skier Kasai Noriaki)
  • Yuzu (the nickname of Olympic figure-skater Yuzuru Hanyuu)
  • salty reaction (the bitter reception fans are sometimes given by pop stars)
  • mounting (women) (refers to behavior used by women to assert their dominance over each other)
  • kojirase joshi (a term for women with severe self-esteem and other social issues)
  • cross-dressing men
  • bawling press conference (given by Ryuutarou Nonomura when he explained his expensive hot springs trips paid for with public funds)
  • sexist heckling (heard at the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly when women's issues were discussed)
  • right to collective self-defense (refers to Abe's effort to allow Japan to come to other nations' aid if they are attacked)
  • limited approval (given to Japan's right to collective self-defense)
  • active pacifism (Abe's preferred stance for Japan's security policy)
  • "There's no one I can't beat" (said by tennis player Kei Nishikori upon reaching the US Open quarterfinals)
  • Carp girls (refers to fans of the Hiroshima Tōyō Carp baseball team)
  • wan ope (the practice of making one part-time employee take an entire shift)
  • "Half-half" (the answer given by Olympic figure skater Mao Asada when asked if she wanted to retire)
  • possibly disappearing city (many small, rural Japanese towns may disappear entirely in the near future)
  • euglena (a microbe with the possibility of solving global food shortages as well as lowering carbon dioxide levels)
  • Constitutional Destruction Memorial Day (held in protest at efforts to amend the Japanese constitution)
  • Islamic State (a terrorist organization occupying eastern Syria and northern Iraq)
  • Umbrella Revolution (the term for a student protest in Hong Kong)
  • afternoon face (the expressions housewives use to greet their lovers)
  • salted lemon (cooking with salted lemons is trendy)
  • Bitcoin (a virtual currency traded by the Japanese company Mt. Gox)
  • Ebola virus (an epidemic ravaging Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia)

See here for the 2011 finalists and here for the 2010 finalists.

[Via Yahoo! Japan News and Nippon.com]


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