Friday, January 4, 2008


Yes, kids…that magical day has at last arrived. New Years came and went, the Office Bonnenkai (J-land version of a x-mas party but with slightly more focus on drinking) achieved proper lift-off, much beer and shochu was drunk (and I mean drunk) and many, many cigarettes gratefully inhaled. Oh…and there was even some food somewhere along the way but let’s stick to the important business.


If you intend to live and breathe in J-land (and I hope you do ‘cuz there’s plenty of room) then you must understand that Karaoke is inevitable. It is a fact of J-life and a damn fun one at that! So, yes….. The Office Party gave birth to the Karaoke Party afterwards and the votes have now been officially counted and so, without further ado, we give you the Year ’07’s roundup of the Staff performances.
(1 to 5 stars, 5 being the best)

Ataka-san- 3 and 1/2 stars
Our Fearless Leader came out of the blocks smooth, cool and easy as is his way with just about everything. His song selection perfectly suited his vocals as he milked his number like he was getting paid overtime and knocked it out with all the confidence of a big cat staring at a little mouse. Good Show.

Isobe-san- 2 and 1/2 stars
As the Rookie of the crew not much was expected from the New Guy and, to his credit, Isobe-san managed to get through his bit unharmed. The song selection was uninspired, the vocals didn’t make anyone forget Sinatra and his performance, while earnest, was on the mild, not wild, side. But, all in all, we’ll call it a successful swinging bunt. You’re On, I-san!

Kumi-chan- 4 stars
For the lone supply of estrogen in a room packed with testosterone the heat was most certainly cranked up as we all salivated while waiting for her to come across with the goods and MAN……..did she ever!
Song selection?
K-chan chose a soft lovely tune which she blew through the room like a cool breeze on a hot summer day making sure that everyone was glad, and then some, that she was in attendance. The vocals were a sweet lullaby of feminine grace and beauty on an otherwise roughneck, hardleg night and her lovely sound is still cracking my heart today. And for our male readers…..she’s awfully easy on the eyes too.

David-san- 3 stars
As the first gai-jin up to the plate the pressure was definitely on. D-man proceeded to belt out his number with passion and not a little bit of old fashioned moxie. His song selection may have been the unique highlight of the evening. He chose a tune (the banquet?) which I have literally never heard before in my life but that didn’t stop me at all from enjoying it. While the tune and D’s vocals were slightly loopy for stretches his infectious energy effortlessly floated the entire number, blissfully capturing the spirit of the night’s enterprise.

Kimura-san- 1 star
Ladies…..I’ll just say this. If you are ever in Kyoto you may want to locate our office to get a good eyeful of the K-stud. A strapping 6 footer with the build of a solid light heavyweight, K-san would be intimidating were it not for his gracious good manners and happy-go-lucky charm. Coupled with a killer smile and the uncanny ability to master almost any endeavor (computer whiz, tennis ace, pool shark, to name a few) he almost certainly could make a fortune in the Movies if he ever leaves us.

And so it is with great good pleasure that I can announce I have at last discovered something K-man is NOT good at!
Song selection?
THE HORROR! The man chose a sticky sweet cotton candy bit that must be the favorite of tween-age-girls-hoping-for-their-first-kiss everywhere and then commenced to wobble through it like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. Painful! Almost anything could’ve helped his performance but, unfortunately, nothing did. The single star is only because no animals were harmed during his performance. Kimura-san! GAMBATTE YO!

Jesse-san- ZERO STARS
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Incomplete! F! The J-man hit the door and pulled his cord without grabbing the mic and in so doing managed to escape evaluation and any applause. A very poor show. But the good news is that I’m fairly certain that, according to J-land tradition, this means that Jesse-san is obliged to perform the first number next year and, further, that we get to choose the song!
Sorry Bro’ but right now I’m leaning towards “Like a Virgin”.

Kazuo-san- 5 STARS
At about 5’9” and 185 lbs. and with a pleasurably gentle demeanor Kaz-san can accurately be described as a Teddy Bear of a man and so it is, was and will remain a profound shock to see him unmask and reveal the inner Hip-Hop Madman that exists inside his calm façade.
K-man led off the evening by donning a DJ Ozma wig (and if you don’t know DJ Ozma then see above photo or youtube him and find out), snatching the mic with a vengeance, leaping up on our table and pumping out the jams with the ferocity and energy of a sugar buzzing 10 year old delinquent with a big bag of candy. Rump shaking, earth quaking, love making and too much just wasn’t enough! Now that’s how you start a party! If I only had a video cam…

It’s faint praise but Kaz-san is without a doubt our 2007 Karaoke MVP!
Long may he reign.

My performance? I’ll say this much.

If we are ever drinking together and there is a microphone within arms reach then HEED MY WORDS-


To my credit I did not shatter any glass, I did not hear any dogs howling, I was not asked to leave, no one threw anything at me during or after my song and the neighbors (as far as I know) did not complain.

So all in all it was one of my better nights.

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