Alcoholism is a serious problem in Japan without, well, actually being classified as a problem. A majority of these drinkers are not, in fact, deadbeat dads or college students (nice guess, though) – rather they are salarymen – typical Japanese businessmen.
Without going into too much detail, most of the alcohol consumed in Japan is done so on a social basis. Coworkers drink with clients to make a sale, they drink with their boss to move ahead, and they drink with each other to create a better bond. Refusing to drink can be taken as an insult.
Alcoholism is a serious, albeit misunderstood, problem in Japan.
Regardless of whether I am visiting close friends, loose acquaintances, or future family members, there is a pressure to drink. After my first couple glasses, my fiance has to dutifully keep my cup topped with tea (since in Japan, you are not supposed to pour your own drink. Someone else is supposed to pour for you), lest one of his family members continue dumping beer into my small, class cup – long after I’ve said “I’m good. I’M GOOD. STOP.”
So how do you know if you’re an alcoholic?
There’s a lot of way to tell – but for the sake of time, I’m just going to address this one:
It is a new promotional campaign by Kirin Beer: Collect either 48, 96, or 120 stickers off of a purchased can of beer in a three month period – and you receive a free gift! That averages out to more than one can of beer a day.
I’m not going to mention whose house I found this at; I would, however, like to mention that the person who has been collecting these stickers has been averaging two cans of beer a day for almost a month.
And no one aside from me thinks it is strange.
I will probably write a serious post about this later, I just wanted to showcase my “how to tell if you are an alcoholic in Japan” test.
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