japanese slang


Agura
Manner of sitting with legs folded and crossed on the tatami, usually practiced only by men.

Aho; Baka
Invectives meaning idiot or stupid. Aho is more often used in Kansai, while baka is more common in Kantô. It is a cliché that aho has a warmer feel, because, when Kansaians say aho, it is implied that everybody has an aho side.

*Aidoru (idol)
Young male or female pop star created by stragetical calculations of the production office. Flourished especially in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The most representative idols of that period [golden age] include the duo Pink Lady, Yamaguchi Momoe (1959-), Matsuda Seiko (1962-) and Nakamori Akina (1965-).

Aka chôchin (red lantern)
Drinking place for men and women after work.

*Akutagawa Shô (Akutagawa Prize)
Most prestigious literary prize, conferred twice a year. It comes in a pair with Naoki Shô, the most prestigious prize for entertainment literature. In the 1980s, there was a general feeling that literature was in a crisis, but in the 1990s, literature seems to have picked up again somehow. Prize since 1935.

Ama-kudari (descent from the heaven, or golden parachuting)
The practice of bureaucrats finding high-ranking jobs in quangos or private enterprises after retirement. This allows the bureaucrats to find a handsome source of income after retirement, at the same time allowing the quangos and enterprises to secure a pull with the high officials.

An; Anko
Bean jam, often used in sweet cakes.

Anime
Short for animêshon (animation). Animated cartoons. As a variant of the manga culture, came to flourish in children’s TV programs and in movies, and achieved an artistic dimension in the 1980s and 90s with the works by Studio Ghibli and by film director Mr Oshii Mamoru (1951-).

Asshii
Derived from ashi (foot, leg). Young man who was ready to go and pick up a girlfriend by car on her simple demand. A young man who treated his girlfriend to good meals was called Messhii (from meshi = chow). A young man who presented his girlfriend with any designer goods she wanted was called Mitsugu-kun, Mr. Tribute. [1989]

Atsu-zoko sandaru (thick-soled sandals)
Sandals with a sole thickness of 10cm or even more, worn by girls of the kogyaru type. A 25-year-old Kanagawa woman died on August 26, 1999, presumably from stumbling and hitting her head because of the think-soled boots (reported in the press on September 2). On November 1, 1999, a 25-year-old car driver failed to step on the brake because of the thick-soles boots and crashed against a concrete pole in Ibaraki, killing her fellow passenger. The thick sole fad came as a blessing to the shoes industry, one of the major industries of Kôbe, which suffered significantly from the 1995 earthquake. [1999]

Awamori
Local alcoholic beverage of Okinawa, resembling whisky.

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