Office Party

As you know, I have been writing facebook posts for Kyotogram, and just recently, we have celebrated our first year online. We are doing this by collaborating with a local store; so if you’re in Kyoto during November and are a fan of Kyotogram on facebook, then you get 5% off at the Kurochiku souvenir shop.

Anyway, besides that, we also had a more private party in the office last night – my very first Japanese business party! It was only a small affair since the office is rather small with only 10 people or so, but it was fun anyway. Even though we were told that there would be no dinner provided, we had a selection of sushi, oden, pizza; popcorn, chips, and chocolate. And lots of alcohol, of course: We quickly finished a large bottle of Sake, and while the others moved on to beer afterwards, I downed some cans of Chu-Hi. It was fun!

Of course, it wouldn’t have been a decent office party if the department head hadn’t given a (thankfully very short) speech at the beginning. And it wouldn’t have been a decent Japanese office party, had it not been timebombed: Just before 22:00, there was another short speech ending with en mo takenawa, which is a formulaic expression meaning something like: “I hate to say this when we’re having a great time, but we have to close this party.”

And in truly Japanese fashion, all of us were helping together to clean up, the office was back to normal within 10 minutes, and then everybody left. Except for the department head, who had some extra work to do afterwards… Even drinking parties in Japan are very formalised and restrained. Or maybe that was just the tip of the iceberg?