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Japan's Trending Words in Our 2022 Stories: 'Murakami-sama' (村神様)

Relive 2022 with the Trending Words of the year! At the top of our list is the nickname given by dedicated fans to a gifted Japanese baseball player. 

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The last installment of our series has finally arrived, and it's time to look back at the top trending word of the year in our stories!  

This year's "U-can Shingo Ryukogo Taisho" (U-can Prize for New Words and Popular Words of the Year) award went to "Murakami-sama."

It is the nickname of the gifted baseball star Munetaka Murakami, and a play on words. Following the first part of his name, the word "kami" (神, god) is combined with the honorific suffix "-sama." 

In 2022, Munetaka Murakami became the youngest Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) player to win the Triple Crown. He was just 22 years old. 

The Tokyo Yakult Swallows third baseman led the Central League in batting average, (.318), home runs (56) and RBIs (134).

In a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in November, Murakami said that, like many of his countrymen, he would like to try his hand in the major leagues. 

His home-run total has already surpassed that of Yomiuri Giants legend Sadaharu Oh (55), set in 1964. The achievement sets Murakami's destiny as one of the greatest hitters in NPB history.

All in all, Murakami's fandom has shown that sport has the power of moving the hearts of people, no matter how difficult other aspects of the year were. 

This was the last installment of the series "Japan's Trending Words in Our Stories." We will be back next week with other series looking back on 2022, so stay tuned. 

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Author: JAPAN Forward

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