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'Jejeje,' 'omotenashi,' 'baigaeshi,' 'imadesho' voted top buzzwords for 2013

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"Jejeje," "omotenashi," "baigaeshi" and "imadesho" were the top buzzwords and phrases voted the most popular or influential in 2013 on Monday by a publishing company. Usually, one word or phrase is voted most popular but U-Can said this year it was awarding the title to four winners -- the most since 1984.

"Jejeje," an exclamation of surprise in the dialect of the Iwate fishing village of Kuji, was made popular by the title character in NHK's morning TV drama "Ama-chan." The catchphrase was featured in several books and soundtracks. "Omotenashi" (selfless hospitality) gained prominence after TV presenter Christel Takigawa used it in her speech before the International Olympic Committee on Sept 7. "Baigaeshi" means "double revenge" and was popularized by a TV drama about a bank employee trying to right the wrongs committed by the megabank, while "imadesho" (now's the time) was coined by university cram school instructor Osamu Hayashi and became featured in TV commercials.

Other words that made the final 10 were "Abenomics, "PM 2.5" and "Black Kigyo."

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Jejeje that is cool, omotenashi has overstayed it's welcome.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It's all about TV characters, Olympic charade included.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Awesome, now we can look forward to another month or so of painful repetition of these already worn-to-shreds phrases, before they finally settle into obscurity and everyone forgets they ever existed.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

What can i say but “Jejeje,” !

3 ( +5 / -2 )

before they finally settle into obscurity and everyone forgets they ever existed.

You might hear omotenashi a few more times in the lead up to the Olympics and especially in 2019 and 2020. Enjoy or be pained, the choice is yours.

As for jejeje, so many cheap laughs. And Rena Nonen is quite the princess. I'm going to marry her.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's always difficult to say whether some buzzwords or catch phrases will have any longevity. But it's safe to assume most will fade with time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

does anyone actually say these buzzwords without irony? as Mcluhan says, if "the medium is the message" then what does this say about post modern Japanese culture? perhaps that the predominant mode of thinking is fundamentally centred around the glazed over, bleary eyed, torpid enthrallment that occurs while consuming the opiate of the masses, the idiot box

0 ( +1 / -1 )

'Omotenashi' is an ordinary word for hospitality...it's just been noticed by the outside world like 'mottainai' was a few years back. Not exactly a 'buzzword'. As it's basic vocabulary, you'll be hearing it the rest of your lives here.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

That girl playing Ama-chan is probably the most cringe-worthy person I have ever seen on TV. I want to break my TV everytime she speaks... or try to speak... just writing about her makes me mad. Need some air...

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Thank god I avoid the idiot box for the most part, a good way to maintain some sanity!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

totally agree @spudman. that word makes me cringe everytime i hear it, so i won't be retyping it here. i actually liked takigawa before she said it, but now i can't stand her.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

GW, me too. I banned the Japanese TV from even being switched on in my house many moons ago, so happily I don't even know who any of these announcers are. Hurray!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

In spanish "jejeje" is a variation of "jajaja" (hahaha in english), but pronounced like "hehehe". It works like "hahaha" but with a little sarcastic tone. I guess it's not that dissimilar from the japanese word.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I learned that you could use the "Jejeje" indicate various levels of surprise. "Je" the 'ol level one surprise, is mild. Jeje is moderate, and Jejeje is outright impossibility looking you in the face (according to a class of old ladies at my English school). I even heard rumors of the 4th level, the "Jejejeje," but that would probably be something that literally gives you a heart attack. Oh well. I've taken to sarcastically using this word, but it's only a matter of time until I stop using it as a joke and it makes its way into my regular Japanese vocabulary. Then I might have to take a long, hard look at my life...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I guess it's not that dissimilar from the japanese word.

Jejeje! (It's an expression of surprise. Best heard from Princess Nonen.)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

'Omotenashi' is an ordinary word for hospitality...it's just been noticed by the outside world like 'mottainai' was a few years back. Not exactly a 'buzzword'. As it's basic vocabulary, you'll be hearing it the rest of your lives here.

The phrase that won this award was not "omotenashi" as it has always existed, but in the very specific, exaggerated way that Christel Takigawa used it in her Olympic speech. So it is in fact a buzzword, although one that, as Daijoboots pointed out, we'll probably be subjected to again once Olympic coverage ramps up again in 6 years or so.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not "Abenomics"??? Or "Orympics"???

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It should be noted that a lot of Japanese "salarymen" and "OLs" are having a lot of fun with the o-me-te-na-shi, coming up with parodied versions. My personal favorite was ro-ku-de-na-shi.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Never heard of jejeje before. I like the translation of "baigaeshi" - "double revenge" lol, sounds hectic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is sad sad sad. One, how easily manipulated people are by their inane TV shows. And come to think of it, this whole survey was probably manipulated anyway (yarase). Two, some of these words do not even qualify as catchphrases. "Omotenashi"? That's just a plain old word. Why not "kuruma?" Its sad how sunao this culture is...and I don't mean it in a good way.

Apparently, "selfie" was chosen as the Oxford word of the year in English. I think it is a stupid word, but at least it was an organic outgrowth of communication on the internetz, and not crammed down people's throats by the talking heads on TV. I'll take it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Rena Nonen is quite the princess. I'm going to marry her.

Get in line. I saw her first.

It should be noted that a lot of Japanese "salarymen" and "OLs" are having a lot of fun with the o-me-te-na-shi, coming up with parodied versions.

Indeed. One of my sons had Funasshi saying that in his school paper.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least they're drawing a line and not going with 'hyaku-bai gaeshi' ;-P

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rena Nonen is quite the princess. I'm going to marry her.

Rena Nonen is a creepy looking girl, with a fake forced "do I look cute, when I make my eyes big like this" smile. The girl makes me cringe inside, each time she's on tv brrrrr.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

as Mcluhan says, if "the medium is the message"

Actually syzyguy@, he said "the medium is the massage."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No "giso?" Why not?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rena Nonen is indeed cute but I can't tell if, when she's being interviewed on TV, she really is as panicky and nervous as she looks. Her attitude looks pretty fake... but I hesitate to mock her for it because she might just be a shy young actress who's not used to the spotlight.

And I still don't understand why Christel Takigawa said "omotenashi" with that exaggerated, point-out-every-syllable slowness. It's not exactly a hard word to pronounce, even if you speak no Japanese and you hear it at normal speed. Some people criticized her for how she bowed, but it was her enunciation that bothered me.

I kind of like "jejeje" and "bai-gaeshi" though. And I'm glad that "Abenomics" and "black kigyo", both of which are not-so-subtle reminders of how younger and middle-class people are being exploited these days, didn't win.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I like Ima deshou. It means I can go ahead and buy all the stuff I've been putting off buying!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

influential in 2013 on Monday by a publishing company.

oh a publishing company! So no problem! Gotta respect "a publishing company".... might as well be "a person said"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Surprised "it's under control" didn't make the cut.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think nobody is able to select only one word. These four words are very nice and attracted everyone. I like "baigaeshi" and "omotenashi". "baigaeshi" is very exciting word. In the TV drama "Hanzawa Naoki", Mr. Sakai said the word every time. And every time I heard the word, I was exciting. This drama was interesting. If there is the second series, I want to watch it. And "omotenashi" was really shocking word for me. When I heard the word, I was attracted the speech. Christel Takigawa is clever and beautiful. I want to be like her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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