Feb 9, 2016
The Art of Nomikai in Japan
Nomikai in Japan is an art to be mastered if you want to survive in the corporate world
The official Nomikai:
The more regular Nomikai:
On top of that there are plenty of occasions to have a nomikai, here are some more:
Finishing a project -> let's have a Nomikai
3 days exhibition in Big sight -> let's drink all together the last day
Want to complain about the boss -> another Nomikai session with your colleagues
Lost a customer? -> another Nomikai with your boss which might turn into a Hanseikai
Now how to deal about some many drinking sessions and with your health?
- Nomikai with let's say 15 members (from 18:00 to 20:00)
- Then nijikai (二次会 or second party) maybe in a karaoke with less peoples (around 10 members) as some are leaving very far
- Then finally a sanjikai (三次会 or third party), maybe in a bar with only the core members (4 or 5 of them)
At this stage, either you could not find a train and then decided to party more (some peoples applied for "Sick-ill" as they say the next day and did not come office) or they were coming back by taxi.
20 years experience in Japan. running http://directionjapan.com
French citizen in his forties living in Japan and almost 20 years working for foreign companies in Japan.
This was interesting. I wonder how effective these hanseikai are if everyone is drinking?!
This is an interesting point! Indeed, in Japan it is often said that "The process is more important than the result". Which would lead naturally to the next hanseikai...
@DirectionJapan Yeah, and the one after that! Do you ever get frustrated with the decision making process over in Japan? Tends to be quite lengthy is my experience. Maybe it's different in gaishikei.
@Tomuu Hello Thank you for your comment. It is true that you can build a lot of frustration with the decision making process in Japan. This is true even in Gaishikei. But you have two types. Old Gaishikei (established for over decades in Japan) tend to become real Japanese companies. (just pick-up the one present in Japan already 30 years ago and you will find that they are doing everything like in a pure Japanese company). New entities might be different. Also it depends on the top, if you have a Japanese person or a Foreigner. But still lenghty decision process can bring frustration to everyone on board. You have to adapt to it, if not you will become a victim and get all the stress on you. Recently in my company I refuse lengthy meetings and have 15 minutes one-to-one meetings (kind of an elevator speech) Bring me your issue-Bring me your proposal- and let's decide Together. You might be interested to see which kind of peoples you meet also in a Gaishikei in my blog : http://directionjapan.com/mythology-of-a-gaishikei/ It's kind of RPG style description of all peoples you might meet.
@DirectionJapan Was it easy to refuse to have length meetings? The thing is, in my experience, a lot of Japanese colleagues tend to tell me that they don't like or understand the long processes they have. Wow! Some strong words at the end of your post there ... "Please don't bring gaijin. I ..... ".
@Tomuu Well, some peoples do really like to have "meetings", so it depends on the person. But generally it was well accepted. I will add a post on "Meetings in Japan" in the next few minutes...