Jan 11, 2011

the worries of others

"Publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha has released its annual list of the 60 most popular Japanese expressions of the year. The words and phrases (listed below in random order) reflect some of the trends, political developments, events and people that captured the attention of the Japanese media in 2010.

- Reality-filled [ria-juu - リア充]: This internet slang is used to describe people who lead fulfilling lives in the real world (as opposed to the virtual online world). Examples of "reality-filled" people include those who enjoy relationships with others in the real world, those who attend parties or participate in group activities, and those who pursue non-otaku interests.

- A society with minimum unhappiness [saishou fukou shakai - 最小不幸社会]: Shortly after assuming office in June, Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced his aims to rebuild Japan and create a society where unhappiness is kept to a minimum. The number one goal of politics, according to Kan, is to minimize the factors that make people unhappy.

- Galapagos (gala-kei) [ガラパゴス(ガラケー)]: Galapagos refers to the unique evolution of Japanese mobile phone technology and its increasing isolation from the rest of the world. Gala-kei, short for "Galapagos keitai," describes Japanese mobile phones.

- Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution [kensatsu shinsakai - 検察審査会]: Committees for the Inquest of Prosecution are independent, 11-member judicial bodies tasked with reviewing whether cases dropped by prosecutors should have resulted in an indictment. The goal is to ensure that the decisions are accurate and represent the will of the public. In the past year, these committees have grown more powerful due to revised laws that make their decisions legally binding (previously their rulings were treated merely as recommendations to prosecutors).

- Final preparations [shuukatsu - 終活]: This word, which appears to have been coined by Shukan Asahi magazine late last year, refers to the preparations one makes in the final days of life (securing a grave site, making funeral service arrangements, etc.). The popularity of books and magazines devoted to this topic appears to be on the rise.

- Pension parasites [nenkin parasaito - 年金パラサイト]: Pension parasites are dependent adult children who live off their parents' pensions. There has reportedly been an increase in the number of households where an aging parent in need of nursing care is not moved into a care facility because the dependent adult child is afraid of losing his or her primary source of income. "

excerpt from a post seen here

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