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Definition of Nominication
飲みにケーション (“onominication“) is a Japanese slang word that 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
The concept of “nominication” is mainly advocated by more than middle-aged people who insist on the importance of drinking together to build a “bona fide” relationship, especially 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 comes as a surprise and a bit of disrespect to older generations because nominication had been 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), explaining why there are a myriad of all-you-can-drink izakaya restaurants (Japanese-style bars) in every corner of the big cities; and why you see a plethora of Japanese people being plastered and sleeping like a log on the train late at night (although this situation may have changed dramatically after the COVID-19 pandemic).
Young people these days do not understand the importance of “nominication”.