Sometimes I find the Japanese language limiting. When you talk about food, it’s oishii. That’s it. Delicious. No “tasty.” No “good.” Conversationally, you’ve got “delicious,” and that’s all she wrote, folks.
Then again, the language can be expansive. Bounenkai is a word that means, “end-of-the-year party where everybody gets annihilated.”
Big shock: It’s become my favorite Japanese word of the season.
Tonight I went to my dojo’s bounenkai. End-of-the-year parties in American dojo – in my experience, at least – have involved everybody going out for some sort of affordable Asian food. There’s a little bit of drinking, maybe some beer to wash down the pork fried rice, but not much beyond that.
Here, we brought McDonald’s into the dojo, along with some more traditional Japanese convenience store munchies. I didn’t want to appear rude, so I ate the Mickey D’s, but… well, it was just really, really peculiar. Cheap food is cheap food, I guess.
Of course, there was severe liver conditioning going on, too. We started with beer, then went on to sake, and finished with rum. And it wasn’t just me drinking: everybody, including the sensei, was nine sheets to the wind. Cooked. Toasted. Blitzed.
It was good to see everybody relax and let their hair down, though.