Japan Went Mad For Games, Dog Politics, Outer Space In 2010

Publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha (via Pink Tentacle) revealed its annual list of the 60 most important Japanese words or phrases of 2010 that sum up the year's trends and events.

From this list, the top 10 will be selected and made public early next month. Here is a sampling:

リア充 (ria-juu)

This means "reality-filled" and is Japanese internet slang that refers to people who have rewarding lives offline, such as going to parties or having non-internet relationships and not simply in the virtual space.


Following in the wake of the Korean television "boom" a few years back, Korean pop music tore up the charts in 2010. Groups like Girls Generation recorded Japanese versions of their hits, and members of Japanese group Morning Musume got in hot water over some insensitive photos.

ネトゲ廃人 (netoge haijin)

Japanese for "online game invalid". The term went mainstream in 2009 but the press continued to mine the topic throughout 2010 with reports like this and this. One book even explored how online gaming destroyed housewives!


Formed in 2005, the 48 (give or take) member strong idol group hit it big in 2010. AKB48 members sang the new Dragon Ball theme, popped up in Xenoblade CG ads as well as in game mags and are getting their own PSP game, complete with kissing scenes (above). Two idols from AKB48 spin-off group SKE48 are currently appearing in the Japanese Kinect commercials.


Apple's tablet device is a hit in Japan.

もってる (motteru)

Here, "I've got it." After scoring the winning goal against Cameroon during the World Cup, Japan team member Keisuke Honda expressed soccer prowess by saying, "I've got it". While Japan has never won the World Cup, soccer games like Pro Evolution Soccer are as popular as Madden Football is in the US.


As Pink Tentacle points out, the early hype for 3D televisions did not translate in to big sales.

白戸次郎もよろしく (Shirato Jiro mo yoroshiku)

Mobile phone carrier SoftBank rolled "Support Jiro Shirato" ads during this past summer's political elections in Japan. Shirato Jiro is the company's white dog mascot.

はやぶさ (Hayabusa)

Not to be confused with Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa, this Hayabusa refers to an unmanned Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency spacecraft that returned to Earth this year after a seven-year sample-collecting mission from the Itokawa asteroid.

ガラパゴス (Garapagosu)

"Galapagos" is used to describe Japan's isolation, especially in regards to its mobile phones. "Gara-kei" (ガラケー) is short for "Garapagosu keitai" or "Galapagos mobile phone". One Japanese company is embracing the term with its upcoming phone.

Check out the link below for the full list.

Top 60 popular Japanese words/phrases of 2010 [Pink Tentacle][Pic, Pic, Pic, Pic, Pic, Pic, Pic, Pic, Pic]


Be the first to comment on this story!

Trending Stories Right Now