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October 21, 2009
Domo Arigato, Mr. Fallows
A snippet from James Fallows, Sage of the Atlantic:
obamu: (v.) [Japanese] To ignore inexpedient and inconvenient facts or realities, think "Yes we can, Yes we can," and proceed with optimism using those facts as an inspiration (literally, as fuel). It is used to elicit success in a personal endeavor. One explanation holds that it is the opposite of kobamu. (拒む, which means to refuse, reject, or oppose).
So the question is, do the Japanese have a word for irony? If so, maybe they could pass it on to Mr. Fallows. If not, they will soon enough.