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Japan's Trending Words in Our 2023 Stories: 'A.R.E'

Relive 2023 through the trending words of the year! The slogan of a talented manager who led the Hanshin Tigers baseball team to victory tops our list. 



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

The 2023 "U-can Shingo Ryukogo Taisho" (U-can Prize for New Words and Popular Words of the Year) award went to an expression that will ring familiar to baseball fans: "A.R.E." 

No 1: A.R.E (アレ)

This was the Hanshin Tigers' slogan for the 2023 season. It came from manager Akinobu Okada, who guided the team to its first Central League title in 18 years. 

The letters stand for "Aim, Respect, and Empower." Okada meant the words to motivate his athletes as they propelled toward their first Japan Series title in 38 years. 

It also happens to be a catch-all Japanese word アレ (areh, or that thing). In fact, Okada is known for using the word liberally in pep talks with players and reporters. 

At any rate, it's a mark of the Tigers' success that this expression made it to the top. 

Covering the Trend

Jim Armstrong, the baseball expert for our specialized sports website SportsLook, took up this trend. He wrote about the team in the lead-up to Hanshin's historic success. 


JAPAN Forward's sports editor, Ed Odeven, then wrote about the wrap-up to the 2023 Japan Series. 

Find also further insights in our dedicated podcast, Sports Talk, including an episode on the Japan Series.

The year 2023 was a journey of victories and concerns. But it leaves us with the joy of sports and optimism of a chance for success through determination and resilience. 

Thank you for reading "Japan's Trending Words in Our Stories." This was the last installment of the 2023 series. Did you agree with the picks for Trending Words of 2023? Let us know in the comments below! 

Watch for other series from JAPAN Forward as we look back on 2023. And, as the year changes, stay tuned for predictions on what's to come. 

Follow the series:

Japan's Trending Words in Our 2023 Stories: 'After Four Years/ Cheering Out Loud' (4年ぶり/声出し応援)

Japan's Trending Words in Our 2023 Stories: 'Shogi Watching' (観る将)

Japan's Trending Words in Our 2023 Stories: 'Global Boiling' (地球沸騰化)

Japan's Trending Words in Our 2023 Stories: 'Generative AI' (生成AI)


Author: JAPAN Forward

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