Political Rally Cry Becomes Japan's Hottest Buzzword
Tuesday, December 4, 2007 Posted: 11:19 AM JST
A rally cry that helped win former comedian Hideo Higashikokubaru win the governorship of Miyazaki Prefecture has been chosen as this years hottest buzzword. Higashikokubaru, who decided to run after his predecessor was implicated in yet another money scandal, repeatedly told voters "Dogenka sento ikan" or "I have to do something". The local dialect he used and his message touched the hearts of Japanese nationwide in a year that saw a huge flood of such money scandals.
The governor shared the grand prize with amateur golfer Ryo Ishikawa, whose nickname "Hanikami Oji" (Bashful Prince) was also selected. Ishikawa, still a high school student, evoked a strong sense of nostalgia with his modesty, good manners and charming smile. The selection body called him "a dying breed".
Other buzzwords that made the top 10 were: "kieta nenkin" (vanished pension), a phrase mumbled by Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe to describe the mismanagement of pension payment records by the Social Insurance Agency, "Donkanryoku" (Ability of Insensitivity), the title of a book by popular novelist Junichi Watanabe, "shokuhin giso" (mislabeling of foods), "netcafe nammin" (Net cafe refugees) and "Dondake?" (What the hell?) coined by transvestite makeup artist Ikko.
The competition is an annual event organized by the publisher of the encyclopedia Gendai Yogono Kiso Chishiki and U-Can Inc., a provider of correspondence courses. Each year, words that best reflect Japanese society are chosen by a special selection body.
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