shimbokukai (親睦会): literally, "social gathering"

Similar to an ochakai or ochanomikai, this is a gathering held by fans of a particular star, which takes place during a performance run. The difference is that shimbokukai are usually for fan club / ouenkai members only, sometimes with an exception such as "you may bring one friend". It is an important event for many fans and some may travel long distances for the sole purpose of going to a shimbokukai.

Like tea parties, tea and/or cakes are generally served to everyone at the gathering. In some cases it 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 these gatherings, 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, such as photo sets, senjafuda and other items bearing the star's name / picture.

After the star arrives, the shimbokukai 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 and sometimes including participation of the star for a prize or prizes. In addition, there can be a raffle or lottery during which many people have the chance to win signed items and/or other coveted star goods.

Sometimes the shimbokukai 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 shimbokukai are more exclusive than regular tea parties, the chance for direct interaction with the star is generally higher.

As ochakai are the standard for main-theater performances, a shimbokukai is almost always an event for non-Grand Theater performances only. Stars with only a small number of fans may not have an ochakai / shimbokukai for every performance. Stars with very large fan clubs, however, may have a shimbokukai or shokujikai in addition to an ochakai — in this case, the exclusive event is for high-paying / influential club members only.

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Created by lokai. Last Modification: Friday 13 of June, 2014 12:40:31 GMT-0000 by zaraphena.