2023 U-CAN New Words and Popular Phrases Awards

2023 U-CAN New Words and Popular Phrases Awards

The winners of 2023 U-CAN New Words and Popular Phrases Awards will be announced

How are you enjoying the post Corona time?


Japanese yen is extremely cheap now 1USD is more than 150JPY. We see so many foreign tourists in Japan. Some say Japan has an "over tourism" issue (the term as known internationally from Italy). In media, we come across one of these pop words.


The "2023 U-CAN New Words and Popular Phrases Awards" (selected by "Basic Knowledge of Modern Terms") announced the 30 nominated words on the 2nd of November.


Among the nominated words, there are ones related to AI technologies like "Generated AI" and "ChatGPT," as well as terms associated with significant events of the year, such as "10円パン(10 Yen Bread)" which gained attention, and "A-RE(アレ)" that celebrated the Hanshin Tigers' victory. Johnny&Associates sexual abuse issue shed the light on the term "NG list".  In the realm of anime and manga, the word "Oshi no Ko/Idol" was nominated.


"Oshi no Ko" is a manga series currently serialized in "Weekly Young Jump" and "Jump+" by the collaboration of Akasaka Aka and Mengo Yokoyari. The story revolves around the encounter between "Goro," an obstetrician working in a regional city, and his idol "Hoshino Ai." It's a work packed with elements of "reincarnation," "romance," as well as "suspense" and "satire," faithfully depicting the hidden side of the entertainment industry.


In the spring of 2023, the TV anime series will debut with an "extended 90-minute premiere," and related terms have consistently ranked high on Twitter (now X) after each weekly terrestrial and ABEMA broadcast. Following the final episode, the production of the second season was also announced, and a large-scale real-life event is scheduled for November, making it a highly anticipated work.


The opening theme song of the same work, "Idol," is also nominated alongside "Oshi no Ko." The song gained immense popularity, starting streaming on various music platforms on April 12, achieving a record of 16 consecutive weeks at number one on the "Billboard Japan Comprehensive Song Chart" and ranking for the 28th time on the "Oricon Weekly Streaming Chart." It also became the fastest song to reach 500 million streams, earning its place on the global stage by reaching the highest rank ever for J-pop on the Billboard Global Chart, securing 7th place. It was indeed a year marked by the "YOASOBI craze."


The annual grand prize and the top 10 among these 30 words as below are expected to be announced on December 1st, 2023 at the "2023 U-CAN New Words and Popular Phrases Awards":


I'm wearing pants!

Let's stop yearning for it.

New School Leaders/Shake Your Head Dance

New Prewar

A-re (A.R.E.)

Peak Girls

X(formerly Twitter)

Eiffel Sister

Sexual Offense and NG List/Johnny's & Associate Problem


Oshi no Ko/Idol

OSO18/Urban Bear (a famous bear in Hokkaido which got shot dead. There have been more bear encounters in Japan as bear expanded its territory during the covid time. What you should do when you come across with one in Japan? )

Frog Transformation Phenomenon

Category 5

10 Yen Bread

Suekoza Sa

Chat GPT

Generated AI

Global Warming

Electric Kickboard

2024 Problem/Ridesharing

It's Ground Meat/Topknot Boy

Fujii (Shogi master)

Pepper Mill Performance/Lars Nootbar (baseball)

Separate Squad/VIVANT

Future Watcher

Dark Part-time Job(illegal job)

After 4 Years/Vocal Support(post Corona time)



Which one you think will win this year?

what is U-CAN New Words and Popular Phrases Awards? and why it has been popular?

In the ever-evolving landscape of language, capturing the essence of contemporary culture is a task that requires keen observation and insight. Japan, renowned for its rich linguistic heritage, has a unique way of embracing modern vocabulary and phrases. One of the platforms that encapsulates this evolution is the U-CAN New Words and Popular Phrases Awards. This article delves into the history of these awards, shedding light on why they have garnered significant attention in Japan.


The Genesis of U-CAN Awards


The U-CAN New Words and Popular Phrases Awards were first introduced in Japan as an initiative by the U-CAN Education Group, a prominent educational service provider. The awards were established to recognize and celebrate the innovative and influential language emerging within the country each year. Since their inception, these awards have become a significant cultural phenomenon, reflecting the pulse of contemporary Japanese society.


Why U-CAN Awards Matter


Reflecting Cultural Trends: Japan, being a trendsetter in various fields, witnesses rapid changes in lifestyle, technology, and entertainment. The U-CAN Awards serve as a linguistic barometer, capturing the essence of these changes through the new words and phrases that gain popularity.


Youthful Influence: With a strong focus on youth culture, the U-CAN Awards often highlight terms originating from younger generations. The influence of anime, manga, and internet culture is prominently visible in the nominated words, showcasing the impact of these mediums on Japanese lexicon.


Social Commentary: Many of the nominated phrases reflect societal issues, cultural movements, and political sentiments prevalent in Japan. These words serve as a mirror, reflecting the concerns and debates within the society, making them not just linguistic markers but also social commentaries.


Promotion of Language Learning: These awards have sparked interest in language learning and exploration, encouraging people to understand the context and meaning behind the newly popularized words. This curiosity fuels a deeper understanding of contemporary Japanese culture.


Boosting Creativity: The U-CAN Awards have encouraged creativity in language use. Writers, artists, and content creators often incorporate these trendy phrases into their works, contributing to the vibrant cultural tapestry of Japan.



The U-CAN New Words and Popular Phrases Awards have become an integral part of Japan's linguistic landscape, reflecting the nation's cultural dynamism and embracing the evolving nature of language. By acknowledging the significance of these awards, we gain valuable insights into the contemporary issues, trends, and influences shaping Japanese society. As Japan continues to evolve, the U-CAN Awards will undoubtedly remain a vital platform, capturing the essence of the nation's language and culture for generations to come.

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