One popular New Year’s event in Japan is the “Basic Knowledge of Modern Terms, 2021 You Can New Word and Buzzwords Award”. What kinds of terms were selected to represent the biggest buzzwords of 2021? We will introduce memorable terms from among the Annual Grand Prize and top 10 runner-ups.
What is the Word of the Year Award?
The “Basic Knowledge of Modern Terms, 2021 You Can New Word and Buzzwords Awards” are given to people and organizations involved in the selection of words from among those that were influential during the year. As the results are announced around December 1st each year, it is known as the event that closes out the year.
The Annual Grand Prize goes to “Real Nitoryu/Shotime”
The terms “real nitoryu (double-edged sword)/shotime (showtime, a play on Otani’s name Shohei)” won the Annual Grand Prize to signify praise for Otani Shohei, a Major League baseball player for the Los Angeles Angels who was named the MVP (most valuable player) this year.
Not only did Otani hit 46 home runs and score 100 runs as a batter and win an astounding nine games as a pitcher, but he also proved to be a real double-edged sword by playing as a "designated hitter and starter" in one game. Fans in the U.S., the home of baseball, praised Otani's performance as "shotime," after his name.
An Introduction of the Top 10
The terms chosen for the top 10 beside the Annual Grand Prize winner ase as follows:
- Gender equality
- “You’re being noisy”（うっせぇわ）
- “Gonzeme” （ゴン攻め）
- Flow of people
- Generation Z (Gen Z)
- Baron of overcharging
We will be introducing particularly memorable terms from this list.
Gender equality, meaning that all people can have equal opportunities and rights regardless of their gender, was selected as one of the top 10. Looking at the Japanese Diet as an example, we can see that the number of seats held by women is quite small compared to other countries. Also, considering the current situation where the wage gap between men and women is still very large, this is a theme that needs to be addressed as a country, not just as a passing trend.
The term "gacha" is used to describe the purchase of items in social games and capsule toy vending machines. Here, “gacha" is used to describe the inability to choose one's own parents and the fact that the parents may not be the right ones. There is a deep-rooted problem in the background that an increasing number of young people have the view that their life is predetermined by the environment they were born into and their parents.
Generation Z (Gen Z)
Gen Z, a term originating in the U. S., was selected as one of the top 10. The term is used to describe the people born from the late 1990s to 2000 who became familiar with tech gadgets and smartphones from the time they were in elementary school.
Female skateboarders, who after a one-year delay competed in the Tokyo Olympics, won four medals, have been taking videos of their practice skills and sharing them with their fellow skaters around the world, improving each other's skills and participating in an international exchange unlike any other generation.
Flow of People
The term "flow of people," which was used by Dr. Shuichi Teramae, an expert in the field of tourism, was used in various situations as a word to describe "the appearance and scale of the crowd at a certain time and place”. You may have heard this term due to its frequent use in describing the movement of people during the Coronavirus pandemic.
What will next year’s buzzwords be?
As you can see, the announcement of the New Word and Word of the Year Award is something that many people look forward to, as the chosen words reflect society of that year. If there is a word that interests you as you go about your daily life, why don't you try to predict which words will be your most memorable buzzwords?