飲みにケーション means “building a good relationship by drinking together”. It combines the Japanese word “飲む (nomu)” meaning “drink” and the English word コミニケーション (“communication”). Nowadays, a lot of young people dismiss this word as well as its concept as old-fashioned (for instance, if you type 飲みニケーション on Google, you’ll see some negative keywords suggested such as 古い meaning “old” and 無駄 meaning “useless”).
Usage and Background
It is mainly used by middle-aged old-fashioned people to insist on the importance of drinking together to build a “bona fide” relationship, especially the camaraderie at work. For instance, they often argue that young people nowadays do not appreciate “nominication” enough because many of them do not often go for a drink with their colleagues after work, and some of them even “audaciously” refuse an invitation from their boss to drink together. Such behaviour of youth strikes older generations as a surprise and a bit of disrespect because 飲みニケーション was allegedly much more common and important than now in the Showa era (1926-1989). During this age, the majority of people opted to work for the same company for decades until they retired, and therefore building a good and trustworthy relationship at work was a key to success and promotion.
Having said that, “nominication” is still prevalent in the Japanese society (especially in traditional companies), and that explains why there are a myriad of all-you-can-drink izakaya (Japanese-style bars) in every corner of the big cities, and why you can see a plethora of Japanese people being plastered and sleeping like a log on the train late at night (although this situation may change dramatically after the COVID-19 pandemic).
Young people these days do not understand the importance of “nominication”.
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