Friday, August 3, 2012
In the 1980s, Japan lost sight of reality because of the bubble economy. Many people weren't down-to-earth. They painted a rosy picture of Japan. Under these circumstances, many young women liked men with a high academic background (高学歴/kou-gakureki), high salary (高収入/kou-syunyu) and high stature (being tall, 高身長/kou-shincho) since they considered these three conditions to be the key to lead a happy married life. As you can see, these three words (conditions) include the same kanji character "高/kou (it means being high in this context)". In this sense, the word "三高/san-kou" was coined (三/san means three) to denote these three conditions. This coined word became very popular. With the economic downturn, however, the word has become obsolete, but it's still sometimes used as a symbolic word for the bubble economy.
These days, another coined word, "三平女子/sanpei jyoshi" is becoming popular. 女子/jyoshi means women, so 三平女子 indicates women who want to marry men meeting three conditions. Like the aforementioned word "三高/san-kou", 三平/san-pei comes from three adjectives including the kanji character "平/hei". If you are Japanese language learners, please guess what these three adjectives are. The answer is that 平凡な/heibon-na（being ordinary), 平穏な/heion-na(being calm or peaceable), and 平均的な/heikin-teki-na(being average) . More specifically, young women are willing to marry ordinary- looking (平凡な外見）and calm （平穏な）men with average salary (平均的な収入）. It's been said that, as young women have been struggling with the sluggish economy since they were born, they always want their lives to be stable and secure.
I'm wondering what word will be coined to describe popular men in twenty years' time.