Photographed by June Kim
In Japan, year-end holiday parties take the form of a bonenkai which literally translates to “forget-the-year gathering.” It’s an annual tradition that has roots in 15th century Japan to give thanks for the past year and look forward to the new one. Since then, the traditional feast has evolved into modern-day “drinking parties” where employees let loose and break rank from the formalities of work hierarchies.
This year is our first bonenkai at DAMDAM since entering the market in February so we wanted it to be special and slightly different – we’re not ones for binge drinking! Rather than booking an izakaya that’s typical to most companies, we hosted guests at our showroom with Philippe’s own homemade bread and curry, Patricia’s own sugar-free raw bars, Mouton Cadet wines and champagne, and our signature gin-gin (gin and ginger) drink spiked with Kinobi gin from the Kyoto Distillery.
On this cold winter’s night in Tokyo, we warmed up indoors with a generous serving of spice, from the aforementioned gin-gins to our cinnamon and cardamom-laced gift bags. Pine and eucalyptus scented the air from the tree branches we hung to dry next to holiday wreaths. We had oracle Johnny Kaede man one corner with his tarot cards serving up 2019 fortunes while therapist Yoshimi Muranishi treated almost 150 of our guests to hand massages using Magic Drops oil serum and the Little Wonder balm applied to the cuticles. Reggae and Brazilian music provided the soundtrack to this fun-filled, ginger (and gin)-fueled night.
Thank you to everyone in the community who has supported this independent brand in our (almost) first year – we couldn’t be more grateful. Wherever you are, here’s to closing the year with gratitude and welcoming 2019 very soon. Happy holidays!