‘Utter torment’: Japan’s party season loses lustre as workers dread drinking with the boss

Bonenkai - or end of year - party season kicks off in December with some reluctant to join the workplace tradition

Not everyone in Japan is looking forward to observing the time-honoured tradition of drinking, eating, and drinking some more with groups of colleagues, even as the country begins to rediscover its gregarious side after 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic.

December usually marks the start of the bonenkai (forget-the-year) party season, when men and women who spend hours together in the workplace get together for an evening of nomunication, a portmanteau of the Japanese verb to drink [nomu] and communication.

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