Pink Tentacle

New slang & trends of 2009

One of the joys of November in Japan is the release of the top 60 new slang and trends of the year. Publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha provides the list, and fortunately Pink Tentacle provides excellent translations of each term (with explanations for those who may be less familiar with pop culture, politics and notorious crimes in Japan).

Next month 10 finalists are selected. I will start introducing some terms on my blog. You can read the full list of 60 new slang of 2009 on Pink Tentacle.

Above is sekushii buchō (セクスィー部長, or sexy department chief), a character with exaggerated masculine sex appeal from the NHK sketch-comedy show “Salaryman NEO.”

Top Japanese words of 2008

I am different than you

My friend JZ sent me a link to the top 60 popular Japanese words and phrases from 2008. It makes for a great culture scan of Japan now. And it’s a reminder that the year is drawing to its close.

One of my favorites is the arrogant “I am different than you” (あなたとは違うんです), famously uttered by the short-termed former Japanese PM Fukuda. The ASCI art is also amazing.

Another favorite is arafo (アラフォー), the Japanese-ification of the English “about 40” to describe women from 35 to 45. Somehow that topic is strangely resonant for this blogger.

arafo (アラフォー)

Thanks, Pink Tentacle, for presenting this list in English. It’s worth reading the whole post:

Pink Tentacle on top 60 popular Japanese words and phrases in 2008