I can’t believe I’m scooping No-sword on this, but Top 60 popular Japanese words/phrases of 2008 (at Pink Tentacle, translated from a list from publishing company Jiyu Kokuminsha, from which “a panel of judges will select the trendiest Japanese word of 2008”) is a most interesting look into contemporary Japanese culture and language. There’s everything from baseball:
30. Make Legend (meiku rejendo – メーク・レジェンド): This is the slogan of the 2008 Yomiuri Giants baseball team under manager Tatsunori Hara, who beat the odds to win the 2008 Central League Championship. The slogan is reminiscent of the team’s 1996 slogan of “Make Drama” (which, in hybridized Japanese-English, means to achieve success after a dramatic turnaround). That season, the Giants under manager Nagashima captured the Central League pennant and “Make Drama” was recognized as the trendiest expression of 1996.
to politics, economics, and history; there is also, of course, pop culture, though not as much as one might have expected, and the occasional note about pure language use (“Choriiissu (チョリ～ッス): Shibuya slang for ‘hello'”). Via MetaFilter.