Long a master of theatrics and timing, Haruhiko Kuroda spent 2022 making everyone upset — even before his pre-Christmas cracker of an announcement, in which he allowed long-term market interest rates to climb a little.

"The inflation caused by the weak yen is making the people suffer,” one opposition politician thundered to the Bank of Japan governor in parliament earlier this year with the yen trading at almost 150 to the U.S. dollar. "As a Japanese, if you have the soul of a samurai, the natural thing to do would be to graciously resign.”

Kuroda, nonetheless, refused. Many put the blame for the yen’s swoon to levels unseen for a generation squarely on his monetary policies. The BOJ governor further raised public ire earlier in the year with a misunderstood, but ill-advised, remark in which he said consumers were becoming more tolerant of rising prices.