Some Japanese Men Are Doing the Bushusuru

<i> Baltimore Sun</i>

Historians and economists may debate for years whether President Bush’s trip here this month helped or harmed his cause.

But the trip gave the Japanese something every language needs, a socially acceptable verb for one of life’s unspeakable miseries.

In the wake of the President’s gastrointestinal woes at a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, a new word has been coined-- bushusuru: to do a Bush.

As in this conversation in the Roppongi night club district, between two men.


First man (pointing to sidewalk): “Abunai yo!” (Hey, watch out!)

Second man: “Jaa, dare ga Bushushita, ne!” (Jeez, somebody did a Bush, didn’t they!)

In Roppongi such a verb has a special usefulness because of Japan’s drinking customs.

Each night, thousands of men deliberately get as drunk as they can as fast as they can, one of the few widely accepted ways of escaping the rigidly stylized manners that dominate social relations here.

As these tens of thousands head for the subways around midnight, dozens each night get no farther than the sidewalk before they bushusuru.