Japanese Vogue words Award 2016: 流行語大賞

Japanese Vogue words Award

Happy new year 2017!!! Thank you all for visiting dicethekamikaze.com, I will keep update more in 2017.

The first post in 2017 is about Japanese Vogue words Award 2016. Since 2013, I have been posting a Japanese vogue words awards (流行語大賞 /ryukou-go taisho/) every year.

This award is one of the traditional events in end of year holiday season. This award was started in 1984 selecting Top 10 words and grand prizes by U-CAN(a Japanese education support company). Every year, there are buzzing words that everyone is using or the representative of the year, or words that often used on TV shows. These words are the highlight of the year in Japan.

Japanese Vogue words Award 2016 Grand Prize

神ってる: /kami tteru/  lit., doing God “like God”

by Koichi Ogata and Seiya Suzuki (Hiroshima Toyo Carp)

Hiroshima Toyo Carp is a professional baseball team in Japan.

This is one of the scene it’s “kami-tteru”

“kamitteru” was used by the team manager, Koichi Ogata to describe Seiya Suzuki’s performance during the world series in Japanese pro baseball.

here is the actual quote as in the picture above


Describing words in modern way, it is “kamitteru”

Linguistically speaking, Noun + tteru means “like noun” which is ungrammatical, but commonly used by the young generations. I will explain more about this linguistically in a future post.

Top 10 nominated prizes

■「ゲス不倫」/Gesu Furin/ : “mean adultery”

Shukan Bunshu editorial department

■「聖地巡礼」/Seichi Zyunrei/:”a pilgrimage to the Holy Land”

Hideki Tomita

■「トランプ現象」:”Trump phenomenon”



■「保育園落ちた日本死ね」/Hoiku-en ochita Nihon Shine/:”rejected by entering Preschool, so die Japan”

Shiori Yamao(a member of the House of Representatives)


Yuto Nagatomo(Intel football, Italy)、Airi Taira(actress)


Niantic, inc.、Pokemon, inc.

■「マイナス金利」/Nainasu Kinri/:”Minus interest”

Bank of Japan

■「盛り土」/morido/:  “embankment”

prize winner refuse to accept

Hope you all have a great year!!!

Black corporation Japan award 2016

black corporations Japan

Last year, an employee of Dentsu (one of the biggest advertisement agencies in Japan and world) committed suicide because of working stress. The employee often worked 20 hours a day and worked on the weekend. The overwork caused her to commit suicide because of stress and depression. Tokyo Labor Bureau authorized the incident as “death from overwork” and “industrial accident”.

The term “black corporations”. (ブラック企業 /black kigyou/), force employees to overtime work and  overworks and less salaries. By the incident of Dentsu employee, the media picks up black corporations Japan on news and the government and local Labor Bureaus have started investigating companies more in deep.

My previous blog post about Black corporations Japan (Black companies) is here.

Black companies in Japan.

The black corporations award Japan was held as 5th award on December 1st, and 10 companies are nominated as the list below (only 8 companies in the list). On Dec 23, the ceremony was held and the grand prize was announced.

Black corporations Japan award 2016

 8 nominated companies and reasons

1.AJIS Co., Ltd.

In 2016, AJIS Co., Ltd received a citation from the Chiba Labor Bureau due to they forced employees illegal hours of working time. According to Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, AJIS Co., Ltd made 63 employees in 4 branch offices to work overtime more than 100 hours in a month. The highest overtime work hour was 187 hours. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced this officially. This official announcement of black corporations by name was the first time in the Japanese history.


One of the biggest advertisement agencies in the world. Couple employees committed suicide because of the overwork and over time including an employee in the introduction.

3.Don Quijote Co.,Ltd.

One of the largest discount stores in Japan. 8 local branch stores’ managers were sent the case to the public prosecutor’s office on forcing Illegal overtime works to the employees. The longest overtime work hours in 3 month was 415 hours.

4.Printpac corporation

In March, 2010, a new graduate who started working 1 month ago died in an accident of printer (caught into the printer). The corporation announced that this accident was due to the failure of the machine. However, the workers of this group claimed that it is die to overwork. They usually worked over 80 overtime hours per month. These workers formed a union in 2013. The corporation reacted to this union members in ways that not rising a salary and not paying bonuses.

5.Kansai Electric Power

The biggest Electric company in Kansai.

A manager position employee committed suicide because of over 100 hours overwork in a month.

6.Sagawa Express Co., Ltd

One of the biggest logistics company in Japan.

An employee in Sendai branch committed suicide because of bullying, violence, and power harrassment. The employee was shot by air guns, spitted, and physically punished when he made mistakes in daily life.

For more information about power harrasment in Jalan,

Too much harassment in Japan

7.Sato Restaurant Systems Co., Ltd

A Japanese restaurant chain corporation located in Osaka.

According to the media report, Sato Restaurant Systems was instructed by the local Labor Bureaus 18 times due to overtime works and unpaid salaries. However, Sato restaurant corporation did not improve. Finally, Osaka Labor Bureau executed compulsory investigation to Sato Restaurant Systems. The investigation revealed that there were total 4 million dollars unpaid salaries to 650 employees.


An temple in Kyoto. It was registered to the world heritage in 1994.

A head chef at a hotel the temple runs sued because of unpaid salaries and overtime works. The chef worked 356 days (349 days without day off) and at most over 240 hours overtime works. Supreme Court of Japan, Kyoto branch charged Ninnaji about $420,000 to the chef.

If you are planning to change your job in Japan, you would avoid those companies; however, those companies are very domestic and there are few positions for international employees.

The grand prize

The grand prize was given to Dentsu in 2016. I believe that the value and size of the company caused this grand prize. The employee’s suicide still has been on news everyday. I am really hoping that the labor standard in Japan is reviewed again cloaely and reduce the employees’ suicide and death caused by the overtime works, overworks, and harrassment.

Salaryman Senryu contest in Japan

salaryman senryu contest

source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/_lulu/4654533233

Definition of Senryu

According to wikipedia Senryu [川柳] (called human haiku) is defined

Senryū (川柳?, literally ‘river willow’) is a Japanese form of short poetry similar to haiku in construction: three lines with 17 or fewer total morae (or “on”, often translated as syllables, but see the article on onji for distinctions). Senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious. Unlike haiku, senryū do not include a kireji (cutting word), and do not generally include a kigo, or season word. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senry%C5%AB

The differences between Senryu and Haiku are the “focus” of meaning. Senryu focuses on human nature, but Haiku does nature.  As wikipedia defines, the structure of Senryu and Haiku is same.

Salaryman Senryu contest in Japan

About Salaryman Senryu contest

The Salaryman Senryu contest started in 1987 by The DAI-ICHI Life insurance company, limited. The contest is held annually. This year 2016 is the 29th contest. The top 100 Senryu will be announced in Feb, and top 10 in May. There are varieties of prizes for the nominated Senryu. (next year 2017 is a 50,000 yen travel voucher). The Entry usually ends in November. Interesting part of this contest is that the Senryu represents the economics, news, and events of the year. It speaks for other salarymen’s struggling in the societies, companies, and families with humor and irony. For example, Drone is on the news everyday, the winner Senryu (in the list below) used the word “drone” which also means “escape”, “run away” in Japanese slang. (pronunciations are different ドローン: drone, ドロン: doron ).

More about Salaryman Senryu contest
Official website: http://event.dai-ichi-life.co.jp/company/senryu/

5 nominated Salaryman Senryu in 2016.

The list below I picked up 5 interesting Salaryman Senryu nominated in Top 20. Japanese original Senryu following kana, word to word translation, and translation.

1.  退職金 もらった瞬間 妻ドローン

Taishokukin morat-ta shunkan tsuma drone
/Severance pay receive immediately wife drone(slang for escape)/
“Wife leaves immediately after receiving saverance pay”

2.  君だけは、俺のものだよ マイナンバー

Kimi dake-wa Ore-no mono-dayo mai nanba
/You only  mine  my number/
“My number, you are only mine”

3.  決めるのは いつも現場に いない人

Kimeru-nowa itumo genba-ni inai-hito
/decisions always field not people/
“Decisions are always made by the people not in the field”

4. ラインより 心に響く 置き手紙

Line-yori kokoro-ni hibiku okitegami
/line more heart reach a written message/
“A written message reaches heart more than Line”

5.  どうなった? 「確認します」は やってません

Dounatta kakuninshimasu-wa yattemasen
/what become I will check didn’t do/
“Asked ‘how does it go?’ and response ‘I will check it out’ is same as didn’t do”

If you are working in Japan and Japanese companies, you should try out this Salaryman Senryu contest next year. I will pick up more in the next year!!