2015 keywords top

It’s been a busy year for Japan!

One of the best ways to find out what events have had the largest impact on a large population is by seeing what their most popular internet searches are. Big news in one part of the world might not even be a blip on the radar in another, and vice-versa.

So with that in mind, here are the top 10 most searched keywords from Japanese Google in 2015, so we can all get a glimpse into what was important to the Japanese people this past year:

10. iPhone 6S


It’s no surprise that this made the list. Long lines just to buy the phone could be found all around the world, with some people going to pretty ridiculous lengths to get one. Why did they all have to have it so badly? Our guess: probably the newest security features (slightly NSFW link, sorry!).

9. Windows 10

20161817251_46fd35f36c_zFlickr/Raymond Shobe

Whether it was people searching for how to install Windows 10 on their computer, or how to get that annoying popup asking if you want to upgrade to go away, it’s no shock to see Windows 10 getting searched a lot last year. Although, hopefully all of the searches weren’t because of the big-deal-about-nothing Korean font on the new operating system….

8. Splatoon

18728981036_f0eb94831c_zFlickr/Kana Natsuno

2015 has been an incredible year for Nintendo. Between Super Smash Bros. released at the tail end of 2014, Splatoon, and Super Mario Maker, it’s hard to remember when the WiiU was almost universally hailed as a failure. But now, the WiiU and, especially, Splatoon are everywhere, ruining marriages and inspiring adorable costumes.

7. Akira Hokuto


Does this name not ring any bells? Outside of Japan she’s not too well-known, but back in the 80s and 90s she was a pro-wrestler so famous she was practically a household name.

Last year she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which became big news (think if Hulk Hogan got cancer). She’s since had surgery and is recovering, receiving an outpouring of both sympathy and internet searches in the process.

6. Naomi Kawashima


Another name that might not be too familiar outside of Japan, Naomi Kawashima was a famous actress both on and off the stage. She died of cancer last year, causing many in Japan to take to the internet to find out what happened and to remember her works.

5. Kenji Goto

Kenjo Goto wasn’t just a top search last year in Japan, but all around the world. He was the freelance journalist who went to Syria hoping to rescue Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa, but ended up getting caught by ISIS and executed.

It’s unfortunate that he will most likely be mostly remembered wearing an orange jump suit and surrounded by terrorists, rather than the good work he tried to accomplish while alive. Kenji dedicated his life to reporting from some of the most dangerous parts of the world, and hopefully one of his legacies – his book I Want Peace More Than Diamonds – will get an English translation and reach new audiences around the world.

4. My Number

my numberCabinet Secretariat

Hooray for taxes! “My Number” is a new system that was introduced last year similar to a social security number in the U.S. and national insurance/identification number elsewhere in the world. As with all things having to do with taxes, it’s complicated and annoying, so it’s no wonder that it’s so high up on the list for internet searches.

I mean, according to that picture, “My Number” can let you shoot rainbows and grow to the size of a house, so I’m confused already.

3. Rugby

This is a search that probably peaked in September last year, when Japan defeated South Africa in the Rugby World Cup in a massive upset. The victory was so incredible that even Japanese otaku came out of hiding, begging for anime-related analogies to help them better understand the magnitude of what happened. “Yamcha defeating Vegeta…”

Yeah, that sounds about right.

2. Typhoon

2015 brought Japan a lot of devastating typhoons. When something that big and powerful is coming your way, it’s only natural to be constantly searching for more info online, to be as prepared as possible…so you’ll know what to do if underwear or chickens get blown your way.


The unfortunate top search in Japan, and probably most of the world as well, last year: ISIS. From the Japanese hostages to the Paris attacks to ISIS imitation in Japan, a lot of people have been going to the internet to find out what this terror group is. We’ll try to end on an optimistic note though and say that hopefully 2016 will bring a lot less ISIS searches than 2015 did.

What does 2016 have in store for us? Only time will tell. However, there is one thing we do know: the best way to keep track of what happens will be with your very own 2016 Vladimir Putin calendar.

Source: Record China via My Game News Flash
Featured/top image: Flickr (1, 2), Twitter (1, 2) (Edited by RocketNews24)