Japan's buzzwords of 2023 announced

Nick's ESL News Lessons

A printable worksheet for news-based English conversation classes.

Date: 2023/11/04

Difficulty: Intermediate B1

PDF: Japan's buzzwords of 2023 announced

Vocabulary Match

nominees -   - controversy
buzzwords -   - tycoon
scandal -   - discussion
mogul -   - trending words
generative -   - self-creation
discourse -   - candidates


In 2023, Japan announced the nominees for its top "buzzwords" to show the year's trending topics. From a total of 30 nominations, some words reflected the public's interest in various events and issues. Two buzzwords highlighted a scandal involving the late music mogul, Johnny Kitagawa. The World Baseball Classic also made the list, with a memorable phrase from player Shohei Ohtani.

Tourism was a key theme, with "overtourism" spotlighting the surge in visitors to Japan. Another significant term, the "2024 problem," indicated an upcoming shortage of truck drivers. The list also touched on technology, including "ChatGPT," a chat tool, and "generative AI," a type of artificial intelligence.

On a lighter note, one of the buzzwords, "I'm wearing pants!" came from comedian Tonikaku Akarui Yasumura, adding a touch of humor to the nominations. These buzzwords, sourced from events, media, and public discourse, provide insight into Japan's 2023 landscape. The winning word from these nominees will be decided and announced later in the year.


  1. What was a key theme in the 2023 buzzwords?
  2. What is the "2024 problem" referring to?
  3. Where did the buzzwords come from?


A: Did you see Atarashii Gakko! made it to the buzzwords list this year?
B: Yes! Their single "OTANABLUE" is all over TikTok with that catchy head-swinging dance.
A: It's so cool how it became popular overseas before getting big in Japan.
B: Right? I've tried doing the dance myself. It's harder than it looks!
A: Same here! Maybe we should get together and practice it.
B: Definitely! We can create our own TikTok video once we nail it down.


  1. What buzzword would you choose for 2023?
  2. Can you think of a buzzword from your own life?
  3. How can the problem of overtourism be solved?
  4. Have you ever copied a popular dance? Can you still do it?

Vocabulary Answers

nominees → candidates
buzzwords → trending words
scandal → controversy
mogul → tycoon
generative → self-creation
discourse → discussion

Quiz Answers (examples)

  1. Tourism was a key theme in the 2023 buzzwords.
  2. The "2024 problem" refers to an upcoming shortage of truck drivers.
  3. The buzzwords were sourced from events, media, and public discourse.

Source Material


More News Lessons

Nick's ESL News Lessons