This Year in Japanese

Toward the end of each year, the Japanese select words, phrases, and kanji that best represent how they and their nation fared over the past 12 months. Here we explore the characters and terminology that Japan chooses to describe itself and its national experience.

The Words of 2017Nippon.com Staff

Jiyū Kokumin Sha, a publisher of language reference texts, has released its highly anticipated nominees for Japan’s “Words of the Year.” Read on to learn the 30 terms and phrases that encapsulate 2017 for the Japanese public.
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What Japanese Search For: The Top Internet Keywords of 2016

Major search engines Google and Yahoo! Japan released their top Japanese search terms for 2016. The rankings provide insight into topics that most interested Japanese net users.
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Dictionary Pros Pick Their Top New Words for 2016

Two major dictionary publishers have announced their new words of the year for 2016. As the Japanese language continues to evolve, it borrows and coins new terms at a rapid clip—and these, say the publishers, are the ones most likely to stick around long enough to end up in their dictionaries.
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Another Golden Year for Kanji

The year 2016 was tumultuous and unpredictable by most people’s standards. But the kanji that best represents the year, as chosen by public vote in a keenly followed annual contest, was one that never goes out of style: 金, pronounced kin or kane and meaning “gold” or “money.”
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2016: The Winning WordsNippon.com Staff

Kamitteru, or “godlike,” topped this year’s finalists to be recognized as the word of the year for 2016. Other selections in the 10-strong finalist pool shed light on the economy, current events, and celebrity romances and scandals that left an impact on Japanese news-watchers—and their vocabularies—over the past year.
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The Words of 2016Nippon.com Staff

Once again, the publisher Jiyū Kokumin Sha has selected the nominees for its “Words of the Year” award. Learn about these 30 terms that help to show how the Japanese saw the year that will soon be finished.
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2015: The Winning WordsNippon.com Staff

On December 1, the publisher Jiyū Kokumin Sha announced its list of the top 10 words or phrases for its annual “Word of the Year” prize. The grand-prize winners this year came from the realms of baseball and the tourism industry, rather than politics, which had provided many of the 50 nominees released last month.
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The Words of 2015Nippon.com Staff

The publisher Jiyū Kokumin Sha has selected the nominees for its "Words of the Year" award. Read our introductions to 50 terms that paint a picture of what sort of year 2015 was for Japan.
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