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After showing a project to a Japanese coworker, he answered me the following:

感動した!、小泉元総理風

I found this amusing, but I couldn't get the Mr.Koizumi reference. Is there a story behind this?

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Could it possibly be a reference to when Koizumi presented the championship award to Takanohana at the summer tournament in 2001? (At the very end of this YouTube video?) Can anyone who was there say whether this became a wide-spread meme of sorts? –  Derek Schaab Jun 14 '11 at 14:46
    
@Derek: My understanding is exactly the same. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 14 '11 at 14:47
    
Depends... did your project involve privatising Japanese Posts? ;-) –  Dave Jun 14 '11 at 15:56
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And bonus points if your coworker had the Koizumi hair going. –  Derek Schaab Jun 14 '11 at 17:24
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Well, since no one has commented with a contradictory theory, I'll post mine as an actual answer. Quoting a recent MSN産経ニュース "10 years ago today" article:

ケガに負けず貴乃花22度目V

大相撲夏場所千秋楽で、東横綱の貴乃花が西横綱の武蔵丸を優勝決定戦の末に下し、通算22度目の優勝を飾った。貴乃花は前日、右足を負傷したため、千秋楽の出場は微妙とみられていたが、患部をテーピングして強行出場した。気迫あふれる名勝負を演じた貴乃花を、小泉純一郎首相は表彰式で「痛みに耐えて、よく頑張った。感動した」とたたえた。首相の「感動した」は流行語になった。

Holding firm through injury, Takanohana claims 22nd victory

On the closing day of the summer sumō tournament, East Yokozuna Takanohana defeated West Yokozuna Musashimaru in a championship-deciding bout to capture the 22nd victory of his career. As Takanohana had injured his right leg on the previous day, some doubt was cast on his appearance on the closing day, but he stepped resolutely into the ring with tape covering the affected area. In the award presentation, prime minister Jun'ichirō Koizumi praised Takanohana's spirited efforts in the well-fought bout with comments of, "You fought admirably through the pain. I'm impressed." The prime minister's "I'm impressed" became a popular catchphrase.

The exact date of this award presentation was May 27th, 2001, almost exactly ten years ago, which may have led to a recent spike in Koizumi-like 感動した utterances as newspapers and TV shows reflect on the tournament (which also happened to be the final victory of Takanohana's career). As I mentioned in a comment, there's a YouTube video that has footage of the tournament, and Koizumi's 感動した is shown at the very end.

Although 感動した wasn't on the list, Koizumi did win the top prize for 2001's "Catchphrase of the Year" award as tabulated by U-CAN. This annual presentation gives a snapshot of many of the fads that sweep across Japan each year.

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