☆ i heart japan,  ☆ life

Living Tall in Japan, part 21

☆ To see all of the parts in this series, click here

Yesterday, I talked about my first experience buying tickets in a loppi machine, and while I made a mistake, I didn’t feel like I had any difficulty at all. Maybe, though, that’s because my memories are tainted by what happened that evening!

November 22, 2004.

Let me tell you in my own words from back then:

Today was the going-away party for a bunch of people at work. We met together at a local station (I had to come right from work, so I had to suffer in my terrible work clothes X_x), and then went to an izakaya (Restaurant where you eat/drink a lot). Most of the staff came, plus all of the Japanese staff, so we had about 20-something people there. It was crazy! Somehow we squished all of us into one table in the izakaya, and oh man were we loud. ^^;; I was actually getting bored because everyone was drinking and I only had one little drink, but then a huge group of Japanese people came in and took the other table in the room, and we kind of.. mixed groups a little bit. LOL, it got amusing at that point. I’ve found that it’s actually pretty entertaining to be in a group and mix with Japanese people. They’ll attempt English and we’ll attempt Japanese and it’s all amusing to find out that we have more in common than we thought. XD

So then the group migrated to karaoke. Apparently they hadn’t had enough to drink, so the group opted for a 2-hour all you can drink special. ^^;; I don’t really drink. It’s rare for me to drink. But since I was supremely bored, I decided what the hell… I had kahlua milk……. and then they brought a pitcher full of it, and we squished 20-something people into a TINY room (the bigger one was broken..). So I had a few drinks…. but I hadn’t eaten, and it was hot in the room, and I got sick. ^^;;;;;; It was fun, though. =D I bonded with Kazumi over the fact that I love Japanese bands, and the fact that I’ve had such an interest in Japanese culture beyond temples which is surprisingly rare in Nova staff. So yeah.. a room full of mostly foreigners, where there was standing room only, really, and then Dean comes running in and shouts over the music– “there’s naked guys in the next room!”

Winnie and I: O_o…? So a bunch of us girls ran over to the next karaoke room and opened the door on them……… and yep. O_o I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it………………………………..

…. Want to see a picture?

This is from Winnie’s cell phone. They’re VERY naked………… Beware, graphic nudity… O_o

See the clothes pile in the corner? O-o It was…………… whoa. We were all giggling and running away, until they pulled Winnie and Crystal into the room. ^^;;;; I rescued them and one of the guys points to me and goes, “C cup!”…….. O_O;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Yeah, he’s right, but.. O_o;;;;;;;;;;; LOL we ran next door full of giggles. And later on one of the guys came in our loud room and took off his pants. ^^;;; LOLOLOLOL I was dying of laughter. Janet shooed him out and said “put on clothes you f**ker!” in her cute Australian accent! XDD Then she turned back to us and *holds fingers an inch apart* “He was f**kin’ tiny!” Apparently, also this naked thing is normal in karaoke. ^_^;;; LOL. It’s….. disturbing? Nah, amusing. Eric and I were standing outside the room later to get some fresh air and the head naked guy (now clothed) came up to us and was talking. He was taller than me, XD. We communicated in a mesh of English and Japanese, and when I asked him why they were naked, he said “My friend is positive.” Me: O_o…. *is that what I think?* O_o… I asked if they were his boyfriends in the room and he said yes. I’m pretty sure that he didn’t understand, but it will still pretty amusing. XD

So yeah… caught the last train home and now here I am almost wide awake ^.^;; and yet tired. But it was an interesting day. I hate alcohol… ^^;; But the -party was actually pretty fun. ^_^

What’s really funny to me now is not the story itself (I’m so used to telling it), but it’s how much I have changed.

I find it ANNOYING and feel threatened when a group of Japanese businessmen tries to join our conversation at a restaurant. They usually have nothing in common with my group, and in fact, I can’t generally talk about my preferred topics of conversation (manga, anime, girly stuff) with them, and they almost always hit on me/us. No thank you. I don’t want to waste my time being hit on, or being thought of as a novelty just because my skin is white. I’m so busy. I don’t need a bunch of lechers seeing me as a commodity. Now, if it was an anime con and I was surrounded by awesome fans who heard our conversation and wanted to join in, then by all means! Those conversations are awesome and the best way to make friends. 🙂

I don’t drink anymore. I didn’t drink much back then, as you can tell, but now I don’t drink at all. I felt pressured to, and I didn’t know how to say no. Thankfully, I have enough confidence to say, “No thank you, I’ll have tea.” I don’t need alcohol to have fun but watching drunk friends can be sort of amusing sometimes.

And… I remember Janet (my manager), Winnie, and Alysha, but the rest of my coworkers have been pretty much relegated to the “I might remember you, maybe, if you came up to me and told me who you are” category. Do you know what I mean?

Oh, and here are some photos from the izakaya party that I took on my tiny little cell phone back then. In the last one is Alysha, Winnie, and me. 😉

It’s so interesting to see how things change. A lot, lot, lot changed for me my first year in Japan. Keep on reading to find out what! 😉

(1,326 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.


  • KC

    omg, the naked guys!!! wtf?! i laughed so hard!! T_T jesus, i can’t believe it… i know japanese guys tend to pull really stupid stunts when drunk, but this really takes the cake! lol.

    i think it’s a bit sad that your attitude changed though… i understand it’s really easy to get jaded in this country, but i still think it’s sad…

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      It was definitely a shock!

      Yeah, in a way it’s sad, but I don’t tend to think of it that way. I feel like in the past, I was jaded by the things that I loved about the country (the manga everywhere) and the excitement of being in a new place. It’s when that settled down that I started to see the bad points of the country. They were always there, and I think noticing them is important because it’s only after you acknowledge the faults that you can campaign for change. 🙂

      • KC

        that’s good then. but yeah, i actually know a few people who think that way… Japan has a lot of f*cked-up points and people who let it get to them, they become so bitter… i always think, “why do you stay here if you hate it so much?”. So when people stare at me, i just tell myself they are staring cuz i’m hot! lol. and i try to let the really depressing cultural stuff wash over me. otherwise i’d go crazy! XD

  • Willeke4439

    THAT’s normal!? O__O; I’ve experienced people changing into cosplay inside the karaoke room (did it myself too, actually) , but I’ve never heard of people singing naked…! Was that the only time you saw it, or does it happen all the time?

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      They told me that it was normal, and since it was only my second time at karaoke, I assumed they were telling the truth…… naively!
      I haven’t ever seen anything like that. I’ve heard of sex and things happening in karaoke, but never again heard of a group of naked college guys.

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