shokujikai (食事会): "dinner party"

Similar to a shimbokukai, this is a gathering held by fans of a particular star which takes place during a performance run. The difference between these and ochakai or ochanomikai is that dinner parties are usually for fan club / ouenkai members only, sometimes with an exception such as "you may bring one friend". In fan circles, "shokujikai" seem to be considered an event only for upperclassmen, so younger stars' events may be called shimbokukai or ochanomikai even if a meal is served. It is an important event for many fans: some may travel long distances for the sole purpose of going to a shokujikai.

As the name implies, the gathering is held at a restaurant or hotel and a meal is served to everyone. This may be a set course meal or a buffet-style dinner. For the food portion of the event the star may or may not be present, and may or may not sit at the same table as the attendees.

There may be "goods" for sale beforehand: photo sets, senjafuda and other items bearing the star's name / picture. However, with the added organization required to hold a dinner party it is less common to have a goods sale.

During or after the meal, 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. 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 shokujikai will close with the star singing a song. There may also be an opportunity to shake the star's hand and/or give her a gift. Because dinner parties 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 shokujikai is almost always an event for non-Grand Theater performances only. Stars with only a small number of fans may not have an event (ochakai, shokujikai or otherwise) for every performance. Stars with very large fan clubs, however, may have a shokujikai or shimbokukai 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: Sunday 13 of July, 2014 19:26:39 GMT-0000 by fred_ojousan.