I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Mai Ooiribukuro -- Sakeyake no Onna(酒ヤケの女)

Ah, days and nights in Gunma Prefecture as a fledgling English teacher. My time there provided me with plenty of experience in teaching and how to live without my family for an extended time for the first time in my life. It also taught me how to drink beer. Basically, even as a teacher, there were the seasonal obligations of going out with the other teachers and occasionally the PTA for dinner and much imbibing. It wasn't easy and I didn't do my clothes and my teachers any favours one evening when there was a "backblast" effect of sorts when I tried to do ikki nomi with a dai jokkii of Sapporo (they made me do it).

I did finally get it down pat after many enkai and bouts at the karaoke bars and boxes during the two years in Gunma. And it did help when I started my second stint in Japan from 1994. At least, I wouldn't ever need to explain why I had to only drink cola or those cute cocktails with umbrellas in them. Still, perhaps having someone like comedienne/singer Mai Ooiribukuro(大入袋舞)could have helped me in navigating the boozier avenues of life.

Actually her manager contacted me earlier today to ask if I could talk about her client's first single "Sakeyake no Onna" (Scotch-Drinking Girl) which was released in August 2017...and, no, I'm not making any kickbacks here. I just happen to enjoy the song and the video which was shot in Shinjuku's Kabukicho district. Ooiribukuro wrote the lyrics while Taka Amemiya(雨宮高)came up with the snazzy 21st-century Mood Kayo arrangement.

Through the words and video, Ooiribukuro gives her comical impressions of the fantasy and reality of being a barfly in Tokyo. It almost seems like all of the usual tropes of Mood Kayo and associated karaoke videos were generously put in there. The singer even mentions about how drinking copious amounts gave her voice a huskier quality.

The club singer character of Mai Ooiribukuro was the creation of Mai Ito(伊藤麻衣)from Gunma who was one-half of the comedic duo Two Carat(つーから). A couple of years after the act broke up, Ooiribukuro was born with her first live performance in February 2011. As the years passed by, it seems like Ooiribukuro was becoming quite the popular character, even becoming an ambassador for the All Japan Snack Federation earlier this year. Actually the sunakku refers to the many tiny bars that populate the entirety of Japan, and Ooiribukuro has performed her concerts in a lot of those places. I can only hope Ms. Ito has the same level of tolerance for alcohol that her alter ego seems to have.

To finish up, I don't have that level of drinking ability and still won't touch any of the hard stuff such as scotch or brandy. My liver has sent me thank you cards annually.

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