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Japan's Trending Words in Our 2023 Stories: 'Shogi Watching'

Relive 2023 through the trending words of the year! We now introduce you to the 4th place winner highlighting the growing popularity of shogi, a Japanese game.



As 2023 comes to an end, JAPAN Forward has picked up five top trending words to relive some of the year's main stories with our readers. 

In our previous story, we looked at No 5 on our list: After Four Years/ Cheering Out Loud, (4年ぶり/声出し応援). It was an expression that helped us appreciate the return of festivals and cheering at sports events for the first time in four years. 

For our next trending word No 4, we look at the growing interest in a Japanese board game with a long history. However, these days it is being revolutionized by young players. Find out how with our trending word No 4: Shogi Watching (観る将)) 

Second of 5 in a series

No 4: Shogi Watching(観る将)

This term combines the verb "to watch" with the first kanji in the name of the game. Shogi is a popular strategy game, sometimes described as "Japanese chess."

The sentiment describes fans inspired by the achievements of the wunderkind of shogi, Sota Fujii. These fans enjoy viewing matches but do not necessarily play the game themselves.


Covering the Trend

Fujii's mastery of the game of shogi has been years in the making, starting when he was a teenager. Now he's 21 years old and more unstoppable than ever. He grabbed the top spot in competition after competition in 2023, culminating in winning all 8 major titles by October. 

Fujii is adding excitement to the game. Moreover, the interest he's generating is raising hopes that more young people will be drawn into the world of shogi. And this year's trending word No 4 reflects that shift. 

Until now, we've looked at trending words that originated in the Japanese news. But there were also words reflecting bigger concerns in the world around us. 

Check back for Trending Word No 3 on our list. 

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

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)

Author: JAPAN Forward


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