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forget-the-year frivolities

It was Bob Geldof who wrote the immortal words, "It's Christmas time. There's no need to be afraid." But in Japan there is reason to be afraid, for it's around this time of year that the streets become extremely hazardous, awash with stumbling salarymen swaying hither and thither, having consumed far more alcohol than their vital organs can handle.

The reason for this common sight is because December is the month when companies in Japan hold their forget-the-year parties. Unfortunately, many workers drink so much that they also forget their names, their way home, and how to control their bladders.

It's known as the bonenkai party, which is almost an anagram of "bonkers", a word that accurately describes the anarchic antics that often occur at such events.

The bonenkai is the one time of year when employees have a good chance of seeing their boss tanked to the eyeballs. However, they won't ever remember this entertaining episode because they themselves will also be mullered beyond recognition, helpfully ensuring that the all-important wa is maintained.

A bonenkai typically involves downing a lot of these...........

....travelling home like this....

....and, just outside the front door, doing something like this....
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On Sunday, 09 December, 2007, Blogger Ian said:

Don't forget to annoy the Gaijin on the train!

Stupid old drunk people.  

On Sunday, 09 December, 2007, Blogger lina said:

aahh... the smell of puke when you enter the elevator early in the morning...  

On Sunday, 09 December, 2007, Blogger Chris said:

I'm glad I already ate dinner before seeing that tofu and saki vomit. Nice blog by the way!  

On Monday, 10 December, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

I like the bonenkais. Not because I'm fond of a drunken stupor. I just really, really enjoy wearing ties on my head. :-)  

On Tuesday, 11 December, 2007, Blogger owenandbenjamin said:

Thank you for that last pleasent picture. Much appreciated.  

On Wednesday, 12 December, 2007, Blogger Z said:

last picture : ick. 0_o  

On Wednesday, 12 December, 2007, Blogger Harvey said:

Last picture. Ick. Ditto+1.  

On Wednesday, 12 December, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

If you look squint a bit, I think you can see Saturn in that sick (put that in your sig!).  

On Thursday, 13 December, 2007, Blogger Citizen_Stu said:

That sounds like what my office Christmas party will be next Wedensday  

On Friday, 14 December, 2007, Blogger Unbalanced Reaction said:

Wow, I had no idea that Japan and graduate school had so much in common!  

On Saturday, 15 December, 2007, Blogger Gabriele Rebagliati said:

How is living in Japan?I am going to cross the continent in summer...any advice? Nice blog  

On Saturday, 15 December, 2007, Blogger owenandbenjamin said:

Can anyone tell me what that person ate?  

On Saturday, 15 December, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Is that REAL sick? Where are the carrots?  

On Thursday, 27 December, 2007, Blogger TokyoMade(東京メイド) said:

WOW ramen free vomit, something I haven't seen in a long time! Thank you.  

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