Recently I was looking into a club in Osaka that a friend from England wants to go to. He simply wanted to know what sort of dress code they have, and if he should bring smart shoes. However, while looking through the various rules that they have (some seem ridiculous, such as “no cameras”, while others should be common sense, such as “no molesting” or “don’t drink and drive”), I found one that made me raise an eyebrow. The Japanese is 強引ナンパ禁止 / ごういん・ナンパ・きんし / gouin nanpa kinshi, seen below. which translates literally as “no forced pick-ups”. 強引/ごういん/gouin means “strong”, “pushy” or “forceful”. ナンパ/nanpa has many meanings, including playboy or social story, but in this context means “picking up girls”
This translates literally as “no forced pick-ups”. 強引/ごういん/gouin means “strong”, “pushy” or “forceful”. ナンパ/nanpa has many meanings, including playboy or social story, but in this context means “picking up girls”, and 禁止 /きんし/kinshi means “ban”. So strong pick-ups are banned.
But what does that mean exactly?
I did some searching, first my simple searching the phrase. The first website that came up was the one I had already found it. After that was a series of English to Japanese translations. So from what I can gather, it simply means “don’t be aggressive in your pursuit of a girl”. Seems this is only restricted to men doing it, you never know, stranger things have happened.
Now, it seems like a smart rule. But I have seen stranger things. I remember the first time I was in Japan two years ago. A few friends and I went to a bar in Nara. It was a nice place with a good atmosphere. But on the front of the menu was one rule “No picking up guys or gals”. For one, it just sounds strange using “guys and gals” at all. Secondly, the fact that it was only written in English, and no Japanese equivalent, as if it was directed at foreigners.
But aside from that, the very fact that a bar at all would ban this. I can see how this would have benefits and create a relaxed atmosphere, but I don’t think it is the establishments place to outright ban this sort of thing. Say a man and a woman start talking in a normal way. Who decides whether someone is getting picked up? What if someone wanted to meet someone else?
Everyday I still find things that I find strange in this country…