Japanese women share their complaints about karaoke with men

By Rachel Tackett

Karaoke in Japan is quite different from what you find across most of the Western world. Rather than letting wannabe rock stars take to the stage in a crowded bar, most karaoke parlors in Japan offer private rooms for all of their customers, whether singing in a group or taking time alone to do some hitokara. Unfortunately, these closed quarters can lead to some awkward scenarios when single men and women share the mic at office after parties.

Earlier this month My Navi News conducted a short survey of the single women employed by the company. They asked 200 of these working ladies whether or not they’d ever had a man do something at karaoke which really made them want to draw away, and if so, to explain it in detail. The results were quite the eye-opener.

Thankfully, 69.5% had nothing to complain about, but the remaining 30.5% had some insightful and occasionally bizarre stories to tell.

The biggest complaint that women in this survey had was of men who get too into themselves and act exceptionally narcissistic while singing. One woman talks about doing karaoke with a man who would move around violently while belting out his choice tunes and then break out a mirror to check his hair once he was done. That might be expected behavior for J-rockers, but when you’re an office worker, it’s a bit much. Another young lady had to hold herself back when her karaoke companion kept insisting, “I’ve got a great voice, yeah?” It would have seemed a bit rude to reply with, “I’m sorry, but I think you’re tone-deaf,” when he was obviously fishing for compliments.

The next big complaint came with guys putting in multiple songs from the same musical artist. This can be especially bothersome when the person’s artist of choice is some heavy metal screamer or a group that specializes more in dancing than in vocal talent. Hours of girly pop idol tunes can be a turn-off as well – I speak from my own experience when I say that it’s creepy for men to request their favorite AKB48 singles, only to get distracted by the music video of the girls dancing around in their underwear.

The next issue is the mic hog. It feels so unfair to have to pay part of the bill when you never actually got a turn to sing. One lady laments the day she did karaoke with her boss, and the man took up all of their time with old fashioned songs for himself. Even outside of the office, she couldn’t exactly correct him on his karaoke etiquette so just had to sit through it. Another poor woman recalled the time she did karaoke with a man who went so far as to grab the mic out of the hands of whoever had entered the song if it was one that he happened to know. That’s rude and inconsiderate on a multitude of levels.

Of course, the opposite can also be a problem. Some girls didn’t like it when the microphone was forced on them for songs that they hate. There are many people out there who attend karaoke parties for the food and company and don’t really want to sing. A guy may think that he’s being encouraging and inclusive by putting the mic in his lady friends’ hands, but it can come off as overbearing and absolutely embarrassing to the girl if she really doesn’t want to sing.

Using karaoke for sexual harassment

But now come the most uncomfortable of scenarios. Many women in the survey complained about men using karaoke as a vehicle for sexual harassment. Some guys might think it’s cute to lean against a girl’s shoulder or grab the hand of the lady he’s singing alongside, but for a woman who views their relationship as strictly professional, that is not an okay touch. Judging from the reactions of many women, the perfect way to gross a girl out at karaoke would be to force her into a love song, then stare intently into her eyes and replace the lyrics with the girl’s name. Given the right circumstances, that sort of situation could be seen as romantic, but if you’re anything less than already dating, it’s just creepy.

But honestly, the one story that really takes the cake is the man who apparently stripped naked in the presence of a woman his same age when the song he was singing got him really fired up. Now if that’s not sexual harassment, I’m not sure what is.

The bottom line here is that men, and women too for that matter, need to be considerate of their company when going out to karaoke. Share the mic with those who want to sing and try to pick a good variety of songs, so that no one tires of one singer or genre. Feel free to pick the songs you like, but don’t be a mic hog or a show-off. Keep your hands (and other body parts) to yourself, and hopefully everyone can have a good time. Have fun, and try to make your karaoke experience memorable in ways that don’t disturb your peers.

Source: Niconico News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Eight Unique Japanese Karaoke Experiences
-- Bird’s got talent! Cockatiel belts out karaoke favourite -- Karaoke’s Not Just For Singing Anymore

© RocketNews24

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The bottom line here is that men, and women too for that matter, need to be considerate of their company when going out to karaoke

This is the key sentence here. Be aware of and considerate towards your companion/s or audience.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If I never had to sing karaoke again, me thinks I'd be okay with that ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I once stayed in a job over one year longer than I should have, due to incapacitating horror of the soubetsu-kai, nijikai and karaoke that awaited me at the end. I actually considered making up a story about hospitalization or a relative's demise, to get out of it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The whole culture of drinking with coworkers needs to be looked at. I do not want to spend my precious free time drinking with people I've spent the whole day with. Dinner a few times a year is more than enough without any obligation to go to karaoke, cabaret clubs or any other waste of time, energy or money. You are obliged to do your job during work hours, outside of that, women or men should never be obliged to go through this nonsense.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

You should only be going to karaoke with friends. If you're invited by office workers, whom you would rather not spend time with, don't. All these problems seem to stem from people going to karaoke with people they don't want to be with.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Following on from Jimizo's comment, I used to live next door to a Maltese guy in Tokyo who was studying/working in a Japanese firm. Super nice guy, really friendly, but he hated Japan, and one of the reasons for this was exactly this - he hated that you could go out with colleagues and co-workers, watch and have people do absolutely bizarre things at Karaoke, completely let their hair down and behave in a way you never see at any other time, and then the next morning everyone pretends that NOTHING happened. He couldn't get it at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In my twenty plus years here I have only gone karaoke-ing twice and that was two times too many.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Part of office life here. Never gets too bad in my experience. bit like the office Xmas party in the UK etc - stuff can happen but not that common.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Equality, Same here, but in my case I also add they're also OK (more than usually) with it if I don't sing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The next story will be young foreigners (male and female) sexually harassed at karaoke. LOL

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

this column is totally sexist ~ some people are stupid when drunk get over it, I'm sick of sexism in japan. Women are just as bad... It's like going back in time~

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Karaoke sessions are supposed to be fun, let-out-steam, comedic acts with occasional good singing. I don't understand people, especially OLs who do not understand this. Guys like to make a bit of a fool of themselves, why must there be rules? Get over it, ladies!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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