Business Abroad: Bohnenkai Benders

The Japanese, noted for their skill at importing and improving U.S. business techniques, have advanced to a new high (or low) state. They have taken to one business practice that has been on the wane in the U.S.: the office Christmas party. The Japanese, who learned the tradition from American occupation forces, call them bohnenkai (forget-the-year parties), and they work diligently at drowning the past in a torrent of alcohol during two weeks of nightly Christmastime revelry with geishas, models and strippers.

There was much to remember in 1960 before forgetting. With the business boom, companies were able to increase their...

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