Do you know the strange thing about people? They can endure almost any hardship… as long as their neighbours don’t have it better than them! Of course, it’s just the same in Japan. And this has led to the birth of two new words:
Today’s words: リア充 (ria-juu) & 非リア (hi-ria)
The word “ria” comes from the English word “real”, referring to real life (as opposed to online). “Juu” comes from “juujitsu” (no, not the marital art) which means “fullness”. Put together, ria-juu refers to people who are living life to the fullest! Carpe diem! Or, as society sees it, people who have friends and lovers, and who go out regularly to have fun and socialize.
This term was born on university online message boards, though ironically, it was coined by the very people who weren’t ria-juu. Those who had no friends, who didn’t participate in club activities and didn’t have any sort of social life… they spent their days lurking online, and they needed a name for the target of their jealousy!
After all, being single isn’t so bad when you’re alone in your dorm room. But when you’re walking on campus and see a happy couple kissing in public? Then you feel terrible…
The opposite of リア充 is 非リア (“hi-ria”, the “hi” meaning “non-”). A famous line on Japan’s interwebs is 「リア充爆発しろ！」 (Ria-juu bakuhatsu shiro! – literally: Ria-juu, go explode!)
When social networks like Facebook and twitter became popular in Japan (and the amount of users accessing them through cellphones increased), the use of this word became widespread. After all, on the one hand, you’ve got loads of people trying to craft the perfect social image by posting pictures of themselves having fun. On the other, you’ve got the hi-ria who see these and become depressed or jealous.
The moral of the story is that if you want to be happy, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. But failing that, you can go bash them on the internet!
Do you have any Japanese questions? Please feel free to ask in the comments!
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