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A Look Into Japan’s Nightlife Tradition


By Payman S.

What are the issues that come to thoughts when you concentrate on Japan? Most individuals I’ve spoken to say issues just like the cleanliness, politeness, and general orderly really feel of Japan’s society. These persons are, to a sure extent, fully proper. Japan’s streets are often extraordinarily clear, with companies typically cleansing up the world outdoors of their retailer as properly. Most Japanese are usually very well mannered too. I bear in mind an entire stranger strolling me via each step of the method of shopping for a bus ticket once I requested her, to present an instance. And naturally, Japan feeling like a well-oiled, orderly machine isn’t a wierd factor to say in any respect, because the effectivity of Tokyo’s subway system alone is almost breathtaking.

There’s a particular person, nevertheless, who shines a lightweight on the opposite aspect of Japan. The aspect that solely ever wakes up round midnight and goes to mattress at 6 AM. The aspect that flies straight within the face of the conceptions folks usually have about Japan. That particular person is the hip-hop artist who goes by the identify MIYACHI.

MIYACHI, who was born in New York to Japanese dad and mom, is a rapper and general influencer who has risen to fame along with his means to rap bilingually seemingly effortlessly. And whereas his musical file is nice sufficient to jot down about by itself (with club-bangers like “CHU-HI”), I’d like to spotlight his video collection titled “KONBINI CONFESSIONS.

On this collection, MIYACHI assumes the character of an interviewer wearing formal clothes whereas roaming the evening streets of cities like Tokyo and Osaka. And not using a sliver of disgrace, he then proceeds to method random folks, principally drunk, club-goers, and asks them a wide range of questions, making an attempt to elicit humorous responses.

Whereas these movies, of which he has accomplished 14 in a wide range of cities, are at face worth simply enjoyable to observe, one might additionally say that MIYACHI is holding up a mirror to Japan’s society at massive, displaying those that these beforehand said stereotypes aren’t all that there’s to Japan. One other stereotype folks ceaselessly have concerning Japanese folks is that they’re timid. Whereas folks in Japan are often extra apprehensive than most individuals I do know within the west, the interviewees MIYACHI will get a maintain of are the exact opposite of that stereotype. After midnight, it looks like most individuals let unfastened and are extra carefree than most would anticipate. On paper, it does make sense that the inhabitants affected by a few of the most intense work cultures on the earth resulting in demise by overwork, is perhaps partying additional arduous to make up for it.

In reality, I’d argue that plenty of Japanese nightlife phenomena have near-direct hyperlinks to societal points. Take the enterprise mannequin of the host/hostess golf equipment, for instance. In a number/hostess membership, a buyer walks in and will get paired with a number or a hostess (relying on which intercourse the actual institution is to geared in direction of), and easily has a dialog with them whereas shopping for drinks, which is the place the cash comes from. This determined want for consideration from the opposite intercourse which has given beginning to a complete new — extraordinarily profitable — enterprise mannequin, might very properly stem from the beforehand established harsh work tradition, which makes discovering a companion exceptionally arduous.

To additional achieve an understanding of this host/hostess membership tradition, check out this picture beneath.

All of these males pictured on the billboards are hosts at totally different host golf equipment. Why the heck is that? To clarify, hosts and hostesses all work on fee. If the shopper they’re assigned to pays for a drink, they get a lower. The earnings these hosts and hostesses make then get mixed and ranked, as a kind of month-to-month leaderboard. Earn properly, and your face will get plastered on each billboard within the district, inflicting your reputation to skyrocket and making you achieve extra. And don’t misunderstand, a well-performing host or hostess makes a loopy amount of cash. On his birthday, top-earning host Roland had his clients pay 10 million yen on him inside three hours. Utilizing in the present day’s conversion charges, that’s almost 70 thousand euros!

To be sincere, I haven’t even scratched the floor of Japanese nightlife. I imply, you’ve obtained rappers totally tatted up driving round in golden vehicles who make songs like “薬物はやめろ” (STOP DOING DRUGS) and “安全運転” (SAFE DRIVER) on one aspect, after which on the opposite, you’ve obtained the phenomenon of Shibuya Meltdown, the place drunk salarymen miss their final prepare and resort to sleeping on the streets.

When you’re even barely enthusiastic about something I wrote about right here, do your self a favour and watch KONBINI CONFESSIONS or any one of many plethora of video documentaries about Japanese nightlife on YouTube.

Beforehand revealed on digmedia.lucdh with Artistic Frequent license.


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