New JETs learn enkai etiquette from experienced JET alumni

Sashi-bashi, hotoke-bashi, hashi-watashi…these were just some of the chopsticks taboos learned at the annual Experience Enkai at Natsunoya Tea House on Friday, July 9, 2010 from 6:00 – 9:30 p.m. Seventeen JET alumni graciously imparted their Japanese etiquette wisdom on the ten new JETs who attended the event. JETAA officers began the program with having everyone pick numbers for their seating arrangements (in Japanese enkai style), followed by an overview of enkai etiquette and a beer-pouring demonstration. Everyone then practiced the art of beer-pouring for one another in time for the kampai by JETAA Hawaii President Kelsey Soma Turek. Then the feast began.

The staff at Natsunoya kept bringing out dish after dish of sushi, somen salad, tonkatsu, agedashi tofu, beef sticks, and salmon to name a few. With full stomachs and lots of empty bottles of Kirin beer, oolong tea, and Calpico, it was time for jiko shoukai (self-introductions). Everyone did so well speaking in Japanese (did the alcohol help?)! After that, we let the games begin! JETAA officers divided everyone into groups for the infamous Forehead Game and Draw-on-your-Head Game! Luckily we were able to capture the hilarious moments here. After prizes were awarded to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams (congratulations everyone!), we ended the night with group photos and saying our good-byes. We hope this event has helped prepare the new JETs for their time on the JET Program. Good luck to all of you, and please stay in touch! Thank you to Liane and the Natsunoya staff for taking care of us that evening, and of course, thank you to everyone who attended the event!

Left: New JETs learn how to pour beer properly at an enkai while JET alumni give pointers.
Right: Group photo time!

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