2015 Prize For New And Trending Japanese Words Announced

Members of the SoftBank Hawks collect the grand prize for "triple three".

Members of the SoftBank Hawks collect the grand prize for “triple three”.

Every year in Japan a prize is awarded for “new and trending words”. The list is not necessarily limited to new words, and includes some that have previously existed but now have become relevant due to current events. The words are chosen from a wide variety of fields, from comedy to sports and even politics.

2014 winners included “Dame dame” (from a skit by comedy duo Nippon Erekiteru Rengo ) and “collective self defense”, which was a major focus of Prime Minster Abe’s new security bill. [You can see the full list here].

This year the prizes went to “Triple three”, a term signifying the various 3-digit wins made by two major league baseball players, and “bakugai”, a word that combines the characters for ‘explosion’ and ‘shopping’ to capture the image of someone buying a huge amount of stuff at once, which we can translate as “binge-buy”.

2ch users were baffled by the selection, saying that they’d never even heard of “triple three” and that most of the words were equally undeserving of awards.

From Oricon Style:

““Triple Three” and “Bakugai” Announced As Top 2 Winners For “New and Trending Words of 2015”; Popular Entertainment Misses Out

The “2015 Ucan Prize for New and Trending Words”, which is presented annually at the end of each year to determine the new and trending words that were popular, was announced on December 1st. Two words, “triple three” and “binge-buy”, were selected for the top prizes.

“Triple three” represents the combined achievements of a 30 percent batting average, 30 home runs, and more than 30 stolen bases in one season of professional baseball. This year, the successes of Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks team member Yanagita Yuki and Tokyo Yakult Swallows member Yamada Tetsuto led their respective teams to the league championship. It’s a tremendous record which only ten players have achieved in the long history of Japanese professional baseball.

“Bakugai”, which describes the huge amount of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and snacks that mainly Chinese tourists buy at drug and home appliance stores also won the grand prize. “Inbound”, a similar word that means “tourists from foreign countries”, was also nominated but “bakugai” ended up winning for its striking impression.

Additionally, “We will not accept the Abe Administration!”, “Relax, I’m wearing underpants” , “One-Hundred-Million Active Society”, “emblem”, “The Gomaru Pose”, “SEALDs” , “drone”, and “Repair it, every day!” were included in the Top 10.

For the past few years, popular phrases from entertainment like “Dameyo….dame dame” in 2014, “Jejeje!”, “Baigaeshi” and “Ima desho” in 2013, and “Wairudo darou” in 2012 had received the grand prizes, but missed out this year.

The prize is selected from among “words” which cleverly encapsulate a sign of the times and are spoken and heard widely by the general public. Fifty words had been announced as possible contenders on November 10th.

Comments from 2ch:

ミラノ作 どどんスズスロウン(空)@\(^o^)/:

What’s a “triple three”? First time I’ve heard of it.


I don’t know anything about baseball terminology


Are the selection committee members idiots?

フェイスクラッシャー(新疆ウイグル自治区)@\(^o^)/ :

“Triple three” w
You’d have no clue what that means if you weren’t a baseball fan.

パイルドライバー(茸)@\(^o^)/ :

Triple three has been around for a while, and I suppose it’s newsworthy, but it’s not a trending word.

不知火(長野県)@\(^o^)/ :

Triple three????
“We won’t put up with the Abe Administration”???
When were these popular? Seriously.

河津落とし(佐賀県)@\(^o^)/ :

Was this really the year of “bakugai”? It’s been used before.

ラ ケブラーダ(新疆ウイグル自治区)@\(^o^)/ :

None of these words matter at all

ダイビングヘッドバット(空)@\(^o^)/ :

The chumps who made the selections are too biased. I wish they’d end this farce
It’s not fun at all.

トペ スイシーダ(熊本県)@\(^o^)/:

Don’t the people who announce these words of the year or kanji of the year realize they’re being mocked?


As usual, I have absolutely no idea where these words were trending


This is the first time I’ve heard of ‘triple three’
Was it popular at advertising firms or something?


Why wasn’t “Islamic State” included?


Some of the top-ranking words are not popular. But I’m glad “I’m wearing underpants” and Gotomaru were included.


The majority of people probably have no interest in baseball w


This has probably made most people realize how strange it is to have an award for trending words

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