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The Keywords-of- the-Year contest for 2010 in Japan

I would love to share with you something from Japan of last year. Many things happened in Japan last year, just like in your country. So I decided to tell you something important from Japan last year based on “The keywords-of- the-year contest for 2010”. This prize is given to the word which affected our lives most this year from a person, TV show, politics, society and so on…
The keywords-of- the-year contest was set up in 1984. However, this contest was more educationally based than today’s contest; this changed around 2003. Then it became the famous contest it is today.

There were 60 nominated words from different fields last year. I would like to tell you the Top 10!!
*ゲゲゲの~=GeGeGe no~
This word is from our most famous drama last year. The title is “Wife of GeGeGe.” As you might know, GeGeGe no Kitaro was created by Shigeru Mizuki. This drama is a story of his wife.
*いい質問ですねぇ!=ii sitsumon desune
This means “good question”. There’s a lot of news all around the world. However, how many people can explain this news exactly? I feel ashamed when I am not sure what is meaning of certain news is. After the news becomes more commonly known, I can’t ask anyone the meaning of the news anymore. This word came from Akira Ikegami. He is a freelance journalist and had a TV-show for kids, but actually it was a very helpful TV-show for adults as well. He often used this word in his TV-show.
This is a coined word. Iku(Ikuji)= childcare. Men=man This means “man doing child rearing.” We can know from this word that many Japanese still think that childcare is normally women’s work, but it is changing now.
This is the name of one of the famous Idol groups in Akihabara of Tokyo. They have a concert everyday in Akihabara.
This is a meeting for girls only.
*脱小沢=datsu ozawa
The political party that is actually in office right now is the Democratic Party. Ozawa Ichiro occupies the high position in this Party. There are many members in his wing. However he is in trouble with money and politics. So his and the Democratic Party’s image are not very good for the citizens right now. The prime minister, Kan Naoto from the Democratic Party, tried to change the citizen’s image. Then mass communication media made this word widely known for the Prime Minister Kan’s formation of a government and so on.
*食べるラー油=taberu ra-yu
This is chili oil for eating. The chili oil is characterized as a sauce. As you know, most Japanese people like rice and are always looking for something good for rice. Then we found this “taberu-ra-yu”. Many stores were sold this out of this product last year!
This is the word for when we riddle. This riddle uses 2 different words, and then finds a mutual thing among them using one word. When the person finds the mutual thing, they say “totonoimasita”.
This is twitter’s word. We use it like name a place, now= America now(アメリカなう). This means “I’m in America now.”
*無縁社会=muen shakai
Muen=extraneous. Shakai=society.
Some people in Japan don’t have relationships with anybody. Some people decide to live this way by themselves.
The grand prize for 2011 was “GeGeGe no~”. Congratulations!!
This new word indicates the world situation. We are using many new words everyday forfun. But if we consider the word’s meaning, we can see our world from other sides. And it might reveal the truth more than our way of thinking.
May all of you have an awesome year of 2011!!

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