Working at Rakuten: The Rakuten Group Noukai (納会) - Adventures of Anette

Monday, January 12, 2015

Working at Rakuten: The Rakuten Group Noukai (納会)

One of the things you might get to experience as an employee at Rakuten is the company's annual Group Noukai held in Odaiba before the year-end holiday begins. In fact, all employees who enter the company as new-grads are asked to take part in a Group Noukai dance performance in December.


The Group Noukai is actually a very big deal in Rakuten, as the different departments compete with a dance routine where the goal is to win against the other departments. Some divisions in the company take this competition extremely seriously, and my department happens to be one of the most serious ones. I'm not even going to go into detail about all the long practices after work. Participating in the Noukai is almost mandatory for new-grads, and all but 1 of my dokis in Travel chose to participate. Most of them had no dance experience what so ever, so you can imagine we had to spend a lot of time to make sure everybody could memorize the dance.

On the day of the Nokai we competed against four other teams, and the level of our competitors was very high. Everybody seemed to have been working hard on their dance routines, and we were quite nervous about the result. But although it was a very fierce competition our performance gained us first place in the end. This was the first time in history for Rakuten Travel to win the Nokai competition twice in a row, so the response we got from our sempais and other colleagues was amazing. Although the two months leading up to the Nokai performance felt like being a part of a bukatsu team the actual performance made the experience worth it (to be honest it would have been a totally horrible experience if we lost though, haha).

The Nokai was actually held on my birthday, so as you can imagine it was a birthday that won't be forgotten that easily.

I've added a video of our group's performance, which you can check out below.





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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who'd gladly trade a trip to the shoppingmall for a hike in the forest any day.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette


The classical story about a girl who went for a one-year exchange program to Japan, fell in love and got stuck there. Starting out as a student in Kyoto in 2010 I now work full-time in Tokyo as a hotel consultant, and write mostly about my travels, working life in Japan as well as a bunch of random stuff.
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