Yes, those pictures really were from the graduation party we had with
our students' parents.
The photos really are self explanatory. It was a
fun filled night. But I can honestly say I never finished a
single glass of
beer that night. hehe. The parents kept coming by to
refill our glasses
so often, I actually had to take drinks so they could top it off
This tradition of never letting someone else's glass get empty is a
trick to thwart anyone who has decided not to get drunk for the
Although I must admit, I am right up there with the rest of the
people as far as being a cheap drunk goes. Not that I'd
take my shirt
off, but it wouldn't take much to get me on stage. But the dancing
to Shingo Mama was instigated by the hostess, and I don't think
had much choice in the matter. Although, a certain male
sensei, who will
remain unnamed, probably had a choice about donning a stuffed bra and
makeup, along with his wig and apron.
In case your
wondering, this particular occasion is by no means
un-ordinary. As a foreigner, new to the work scene in
formal and stuffy atmosphere can be overwhelming at first.
But the after work drinking parties are one of most amusing surprises
about Japan. Even the most staid of businessmen will, after a
beers, willingly tie his tie around his head and dance on the tables.
(I haven't gotten to witness this yet, but the dancing in drag
just as good). And not a stitch of embarrassment the next day.
Neither do there seem to be any qualms about what time of the
you should or shouldn't drink. If you have to have a
party at noon,
then by god, the drinkin' starts at noon! I'm looking
to the cherry blossom festivals, when people camp out under the
trees and drink all day. And all under the guise of
beauty. I know this because I saw them in Tokyo.
We went out well before noon, and already the little parties of
people in their business suits were parked for the day, giggling
and stumbling over each other, and, uh, marveling at the trees.
* Would you like to know more
about this social phenomenon of drunk Japanese people? Its quite simple
really. Its an interesting fact that how you act when you're drunk is a
learned behavior. Compared to Western societies, Japan is very formal.
There are very important rules to the social harmony here. Speak
evasively, don't stand out, don't excel beyond your peers, and always use
complicated polite speech with superiors (all learned behaviors). So there
are also social rules that apply to drunk behavior as well (or an accepted lack
of any rules as it seems to me).
The Japanese system works so that most people work at the same company their
whole lives. 'Drinking Parties' provide a way of establishing a bond among
work groups, since under normal circumstances, it takes a really long time to
get to know someone under the more formal, sober rules. And you can't get
anywhere in Japan if you're not part of a group. Drinking has become the
accepted mode of choice for escaping the strict social rules, (while still being
part of the harmonious group, of course). So go ahead, have a beer and don
some rabbit ears.