The Princess Phone and Other Japanese Words and Phrases of 2008

Japanese publishing company Jiyu Kokuminsha released its annual list of 60 most popular Japanese words and phrases of 2008 - and thanks to Pink Tentacle blog, we can all read about them in English ;)

For example:

9. Hime-den: This abbreviation of hime-denwa (lit. “princess phone”) describes a garish style of mobile phone decoration popular with junior high and high school girls. Hime-den are typically decorated with glitter, fake jewels, ribbons, lace, and little teddy bears.

19. “The Homeless Junior High School Student” (homuresu chugakusei/kaisan): “The Homeless Junior High School Student” is a best-selling memoir by comedian Hiroshi Tamura, who became homeless as a 10-year-old after the death of his mother and the break-up of his family. Some of the hardships Tamura recounts include spending nights in public parks and eating cardboard and grass to survive. The book sold over 1 million copies within two months of its release, making it the fastest selling non-fiction book on record in Japan. The story was adapted to the screen this year as “Homeless Chugakusei” (”The Homeless Student”).

23. “It’s all good.” (kore de ii no da): In the eulogy, Tamori also borrowed a phrase used frequently by a character in Akatsuka’s Tensai Bakabon manga series, when he said: “Your liberating ideas helped us accept and affirm the way things really are. That is, you taught us, ‘It’s all good.’”

41. Manager in name only (nabakari kanrishoku): “Managers in name only” are company employees who put in lots of overtime but do not get paid for their extra work because they are called “managers,” even though in fact they have no administrative authority. One of these “managers in name only” at the McDonald’s fast-food chain filed a lawsuit against the company for unfair labor practices. In January, the Tokyo District Court ruled in his favor, ordering McDonald’s to pay its outlet “managers” for overtime because they are given no administrative authority. (The law is designed so that companies in Japan do not have to pay overtime to real managers with actual administrative authority.)

If you're a Japanophile, this one you definitely have to see: Link


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Okay, so some things like "subprime" leak over, as well as Arafo basically being the Japanese equivalent of Sex and the City and Sister-Man roughly equating to Queer Eye. I want to know where our banana diet is, or why we don't have justice ministers dressing up in silly costumes to promote the jury system.
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