ochanomikai (お茶飲み会): literally, "tea-drinking party"

A gathering held by an ouenkai for fans of a particular star, which takes place during a performance run. These are attended by a majority of the star's fans and sometimes their friends and/or other people interested in the star. It is an important event for many fans - some may travel long distances for the sole purpose of going to the ochanomikai.

The main difference between an ochakai and an ochanomikai seems to be whether it is held by an official fan club or not. Those stars who do not yet have enough fan support to have a formally organized club (see kai-touroku) use the term "ochanomikai" — or the English "tea party" to avoid making the distinction.

In keeping with the name, tea and/or cakes are generally served to everyone at the tea party. In some cases the gathering may be held at a restaurant and have other food items available, but this would not be considered a dinner party unless it is referred to as such by the organizers.

At an ochanomikai or ochakai, attendees are generally expected to arrive at reception (uketsuke) at least half an hour before the star arrives. During this interim time there may be "goods" for sale — photo sets, senjafuda and other items bearing the star's name / picture.

After the star arrives, the ochanomikai runs for approximately an hour. The star usually answers questions about the current performance, and sometimes past performances and offstage activities. There may be an interactive game, sometimes including participation of the star for a prize or prizes. It is also standard to hold a raffle or lottery during which many people can win signed items and/or other coveted star goods.

Sometimes the ochanomikai will close with the star singing a song or, on rare occasions, performing a dance. There may also be an opportunity to shake the star's hand and/or give her a gift. Because ochanomikai have lower attendance than formal club tea parties, the chance for direct interaction with the star is generally higher.

There is usually one tea party in Takarazuka and another in Tokyo during a main-theater performance. However, there may only be one if the star's fan base is located primarily in one area. Stars with small groups of fans may not have an ochanomikai for every performance.

While new fans may believe that a tea party is an exclusive event for club members only, non-members who are interested in the star are often encouraged to attend. This is because it is a chance for stars to show their offstage appeal and hopefully increase their fan base. However, shimbokukai and shokujikai are usually members-only events.

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Created by lokai. Last Modification: Sunday 13 of July, 2014 19:29:00 GMT-0000 by fred_ojousan.