Konnichiwa! Guten Tag! My name is Leon. I am doing an internship at SUITO Fukuoka. I am from Germany and currently living in Fukuoka. Working at SUITO Fukuoka means getting in contact with Japanese customs and traditions every day. We organize Sushi makings, Kimono dressings, etc. on a daily basis. Here you can experience Japanese culture first-hand.
This week our staff came together for the annually bōnenkai (忘年会). The so called bōnenkai is a Japanese event that takes place at the end of the year, and is generally held among groups of co-workers. In most of Japanese companies it is common to go out for food and drinks to resumé the previous year. It was the second year of bōnenkai for our SUITO team.
Traditionally you go to a Japanese Izakaya. Izakaya’s are small casual pubs that you can find all over Japanese cities. It is very popular in Japan to go there after work. They also serve food. This year we decided to have Pizza at the Italian restaurant Salvatore. This was ideal for our vegetarian co-workers. I recommend Gorgonzola-honey Pizza! I tried this kind of Pizza for the first time and it was delicious. Everybody was very cheerful.
Afterwards we went to a Taiko concert together. Three different groups of Taiko players gave a concert this evening. Taiko is a Japanese drum and usually refers to a specific way of drumming. They all wore Japanese uniforms and sometimes screamed to their music. It was an intense experience. Together the drums make really loud noise. You feel their rhythm in your whole body. The drummers often varied the tempo and volume of their performance. And sometimes they were accompanied by one other instrument for example a Shamisen. Shimasen is a traditional Japanese instrument with three strings, a long neck and a relatively small corpus.
When the concert finished, we could try out Taiko drumming ourselves. From a professional Taiko player we got a small lesson. She taught us how to use the Taiko drums together. It was a nice feeling to play on the same stage as the Taiko players before. I could imagine how challenging it must have been playing a whole concert.
It was a very nice bōnenkai!