TGIF! The Japanese Custom of “Botoru Kiipu”

At small pubs in Japan it is customary to allow patrons to purchase an entire bottle of liquor and hold it for them to drink whenever they stop in.  To keep the vessels straight, the owner typically writes their name on the label with a maker pen.  This is known as “Bottle Keep.”

The empty shochu bottle shown is now 18 years old. The name on penned across the label is “TAP” which stands for “Technical Auto Parts”– the name of my former Japanese employer. It is a dirty little secret that the pub owner, a friend of mine, broke code and allowed me to finish the contents and take the carcass home one spring afternoon. He recognized I was suffering from the effects of overwork as the company’s interpreter, training manager and all-around girl Friday.  Cheers to TAP!   #TGIF #Japanesecustoms #overwork


5 thoughts on “TGIF! The Japanese Custom of “Botoru Kiipu”

  1. I’ve always had a fantasy of becoming a bar regular and getting my name on a bottle.

    Overwork, though. Ugh. Did you see the Japan Times posted a little blip about the labor ministry trying to “name & shame” companies that exploit their employees?

    I searched, in vain, for my husband’s company, so the list is most definitely not complete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well I can say that overwork isn’t exclusively a Japanese problem. My American husband managed one and sometimes two automotive supplier plants here in Michigan and there is tremeandous pressure put on factory management to work a ton of overtime without pay. It isn”t as if they say, “You need to work all weekend…” but they often whittle down the support staff to the bare bones so that the salaried workers have no choice. I am not 100% sure, but since I’ve lived quite a while and been around these plants in one form or another (either directly working, as the spouse or friend of someone who works in these places etc.) I feel that it was the Japanese who brought competitive pressure to the market and were known to practice overwork that spread this mentality in the US. It’s just a theory of mine. I should research it. Oh and yes I do keep up with Japan Times online. It’s a great way to stay in touch with what’s going on in Japan! Thank you for commenting.


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