We kept walking, past huge black panels with inlaid mother of pearl, before reaching a huge tatami mat room... Ladies in kimono picked up our shoes where we left them (I tried to at least hand them to them, but that was bad behaviour, I guess?). There was another room before we got to our own. I picked a coloured card to determine where I would sit and got number six.
At the table, was a hand-made photo frame featuring the school and the date of the party, plus chopsticks resting on a stand and wrapped in black paper. The room itself was much like the rest of the hotel, with wooden carvings on the walls and ceilings. This time, there were speakers embedded into the carvings, connected to the mini karaoke machine at the far end.
First there were speeches and presentations from those leaving the school and then those joining the school.
My speech was fine (I think)! I started by saying my name, a bit about where I'm from and where I studied and followed that up with why I came to Japan. Thanks for the tips, dilettantka! Then I said how wonderful everyone seemed, that we should work together and douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
I then sang X Japan's Kurenai and received a certificate from the headmaster detailing my participation.
Next was a game in which we used "English gestures"... thumbs up for 'yes' and shrugging for 'no'. I had to demonstrate in front of everyone! You had to march to the beat of the karaoke machine while the master of ceremonies read out a question, then 'CHECK'. You had to reply with the right response and action.
Afterwards, a handful of us (about ten) went to karaoke. A few kept asking "Is it TARAKO time yet? Is it TARAKO time yet?" And, eventually, it was indeed tarako time (although there's more to it than I've ever heard, but you can mostly compensate for that by singing cutely. But most people were more interested in trying to get the dance right). There were some great songs, including one called Aonori which looked SO difficult, but very catchy because of it. I want to learn to sing that... somehow. Even if the lyrics are super-childish. There was also Keitai Aika by Tokyo Purin, which was an enka-style lament about mobile phones. There was indeed one guy who insisted on doing enka and hamming it up (glad I'm not the only one!). For my part, I sang Velvet Underworld and Hateshinaku Tooi Sora ni (Kyou Kara Maou), since they're pretty upbeat.
I has links (mostly from Fandom Lounge on Journalfen):
Need to decide if I want to go out tonight now... GW is busier than I remember.