Saturday, December 27, 2008


It is bonenkai season here. Bonenkai literally means "forget the year" party. To me, it is just an excuse for businessmen and women to get together and drink, most times to the point until they can't remember anything.

Though if you ask me, no year could be so bad that you need to drink yourself into a stupor.

Oh, and then at the beginning of the year, is the shin-nenkai or New Year party. This is when they again get themselves together to drink themselves into another stupor to get ready to work themselves silly for the next 12 months...I bet the hangovers aren't something they'd like to remember.


Lynne said...

Having taken one year in a similarly same fashion, I can safely say I've since found better ways to forget a year, LOL. Thanks for sharing, very interesting!

Lori said...

Are these usually a company party or with family and friends? Sounds a little scary to drink that much!

OkiHwn said...

Had a bonenkai with my foremen, check my blog. Every body safe, all left by taxi!

K and S said...

Hope 2009 will be a good year for you Lynne!

They usually gather after work at an izakaya (bar type restaurant), Lori :) It is more for company than family or friends.

I saw, Nate, good thing everyone went home okay.

Take care everyone.

Hui2 said...

oh, my bonenkai-s & shinnenkai-s at the izakayas are usually followed by a 2nd party - karaoke, then a 3rd party - ramen supper. So usually my department tends not to get drunk, then we can last all the way till the last train!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kat,
I love your writing - "another stupor" -lol.
I don't get it why people need it. I drink maybe once a month a glass of wine, just for relax or in case of pms, but I know many people who drink two bottles every night. Of course everybody can have bad moods, but that is not a reason to swim in alcohol. And what is even worse, that when you don't drink (more than one glass), people call you boring. :-(
BTW I'd like to ask you how do you like Japanese movies? They are (together with Korean and Chinese) very popular now here in Europe.
Take care....

K and S said...

I had forgotten about the 2nd and 3rd parties, Hui2...glad you guys make it home on the last train :)

Thanks Lavinia, we often go to see Japanese movies when we can. I think this year we only saw one Japanese movie and that one was about baseball during the war.

Take care you two.

Hui2 said...

er, may I explain to Anonymous why so many people get drunk at the bonenkai-s & shinnenkai-s?

It's the Japanese culture of kanpai (bottoms up) to almost everyone at such parties that's the main cause of the drunkeness, esp. for office parties. It's considered polite to kanpai with ALL your superiors, all your subordinates will come to kanpai to you, and you'll also kanpai to your fellow colleagues to maintain good relationship.

Of course, you don't really HAVE to bottoms up every single time, but so many sips of sake throughout the 3-hr dinner, it's not easy to go off totally sober.......

Basically, the bonenkai-s & shinnenkai-s are just opportunities to network with everybody.........

K and S said...

Thanks for your opinion, Hui2, I guess most of us come from the U.S. where we need to drive our cars to get home, so getting totally drunk is not an option for us. My understanding of kanpai is not bottoms up but the meaning of "cheers". "Bottoms up" was "iki o nomu" when I was studying here in Japan.

Take care.