Welcome to the Year of the Rat!

2 01 2008

From Metropolis magazine:

Welcome to 2008, the year of the Rat

People born in the Year of the Rat are thought to be go-getting charmers. They work hard to acquire the objects of their desire then keep them close. While often successful, they tend to gossip and are easily angered. Notable people born in the Year of the Rat include actress Scarlett Johansson (1984), rapper Busta Rhymes (1972), singer Kyosuke Himuro (1960), hockey legend Bobby Orr (1948) and designer Yves Saint-Laurent (1936). Last year was Year of the Pig, and it sometimes seemed all the attention was hogged by the many skyscrapers and mixed-use complexes that sprang up around the city. Whatever 2008 has in store turn the page for our forecast we at Metropolis would like to wish you health and happiness throughout.

Best wishes this new year, guys! Watch a video of New Year’s greetings from Japan Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. His Liberal Democratic Party recently created a YouTube channel. Click here for an article about it.





A year to forget

18 12 2007

All photos from Flickr

There were definitely things I don’t remember about my 21st birthday party the other week. Mostly I don’t remember anything that happened after 11:30. In Japan, there are parties where everyone is suppose to forget. They are called “Bonenkai” or “forget-the-year parties.” These office parties, which start around December 10th and normally last until the end of the month, are held to help people forget the unpleasantries of the last year and to start fresh with the new year. The Japanese workplace is normally pretty stiff and strict, however, at these parties the bosses and the rest of the employees usually get ridiculously drunk, and all decorum gets thrown out the window or the cubicle or whatever.

Read more after the jump!





Drunk gaijin takeover trains to throw Halloween bash; Japanese not too pleased

31 10 2007

Photo from JapanProbe

Happy Halloween!!! Here at Chapel Hill we always have several thousand people dress up and roam Franklin Street during the festivities. I’ll post pics lata if you’re interested. While they don’t go all out for the holiday in Japan, in the last couple of years drunk foreigners and Japanese residents have dressed up in full costume and have partied on the Yamanote Halloween Train. The event got it’s name because the train is on the Yamanote line. A secret time and platform is selected and posted online or sent by email by organizers and people show up to get on the train car and party. Participants try to say that the event is not just a booze-fueled party, but it’s also a way to protest the overcrowded cattle cars that are the Tokyo trains.

Read more after the jump!