This is the first in an occasional series of tributes to noteworthy Japanese booze-hounds. There are less of these hedonistic characters in Japan than in most countries- I’ll be hard-pressed to find the Japanese equivalent of, say, Oliver Reed, (over here it’s considered deeply shameful to get shit-faced on television talk shows and take your trousers off,) but I’ll give it a shot.
One of Japan’s most notorious hell-raisers was the writer Osamu Dazai. The acclaimed author of such classic works as “The Setting Sun,” Dazai was infamous for his excessive and decadent lifestyle in the post-war years. Getting stinking drunk was his favourite pastime.
It couldn’t be said that he was a happy drunk- he was a suicidal alcoholic and made several attempts to off himself before finally succeeding in 1948, in a suicide-pact with his married mistress. Needless to say, there were no pina coladas, karaoke-jams or limbo-dancing at his parties.
Dazai was a self-destructive rebel from an early age, neglecting his studies at high-school, and blowing his allowance on booze and hookers. His wild misadventures included running away from his university with a geisha, and fathering a child out of wedlock with a fan. He sounds like a latter-day Pete Docherty.
Ironically, for a guy who drank so much, he once wrote in his book “Seascape with Figures in Gold”, that his favourite tipple was milk. “The cold half pint of milk I drank each morning was the only thing that gave me a certain peculiar sense of the joy in life”. Too bad he died before the invention of Kellogg’s Frosties- he could have poured the milk on them and doubled the fun.
I don’t know what the band below were thinking when they chose their name, but I hope they brought clean pairs of pants to the concert.
Part of the fun of writing a blog is that you get to see all the weird phrases that people have typed into search engines, which led them to your site. Some of the search terms I’ve seen are truly peculiar. Below are the more unusual ones I’ve read recently:
-“Tokyo sightseeing crazy sex MC Hammer”
-“Photos of Penises”
-“Lascivious Japanese ladies”
-“Pictures of Captain Birdseye”
-“Fun toilet bars”
I’d be interested to know what on Earth the person who wrote “Tokyo sightseeing crazy sex MC Hammer” was hoping to find! Or, indeed, what a “toilet bar” is. I have to say, though, it pleases me that someone was searching for porn using the word “lascivious.” Endearingly literate, for a perv!
Finally, in the interest of attracting some new readers, I’d just like to say a few words: lesbian schoolgirls, big tits, free money and viagra.
The advertising executives who came up with the ad below must have been racking their brains for days to come up with such a complex slogan.
This vending machine caught me in a particularly petty mood. The big bottle of water and the small bottle are exactly the same price. Why? This unnerves me.
Below is a list I’ve lovingly compiled of Japanese bars with weird but charming English names. Presumably the owners thought that the exotic, foreign words would make their establishments sound more international and cosmopolitan to the locals, and yet unwittingly they sound extremely parochial and idiosyncratically Japanese to everyone else. Still, a crazy moniker adds to the allure of a bar for me. I come from England where there are 500-year-old pubs with ridiculous names like “Ye Olde Cheddar Cheese” and “The Fiddling Monkey,” so I have a natural fascination with these oddly-named watering holes. Here they are, in no particular order:
Jam Jam Drag on the Market
Beer Pub Holic
Bar Isn’t It?
John Henry’s Study
Nakasu Comic Pub Academy
The Crazy Cock
Jazz Inn Lovely
The Green Sheep
The Full Monty
Dr Jikyll & Mr.Hyde
Bar Bar Bar
Cafe De Jumpin’ Jumpin’
Bar Baby Queen
Electric Ship Bar
Papa Don’t Preach
Bar Sushi and Men
Shot Bar TRKKK
Dining Bar FATMAM
Salon Bar “Loss”