|New Years Celebration|
The New Years Celebration (賀正, Gashou) is a yearly event held in prisons all over the globe that for a single day places inmates and guards on the same level as they participate in a number of events in order to gain a single item of their choosing, inmates who participate and win are also rewarded IP, guards receiving a bonus on their next check.
In order to rally participants, each building within a prison will have its supervisor choose a cell of four inmates to represent them in the competition. This selection must be approved by the warden to ensure the safety of the prisons guards and supervisors that will be participating. This typically means that the inmates of the cell participating must have a clean enough behavior record, or a high number of Inmate Points earned, in order to be approved. When the inmates are picked, the building’s lead supervisor will choose three other supervisors or guards to accompany them in the event that guards will be required to participate.
Once all teams have been approved and chosen, typically finalized on New Year’s Eve, all of the prison polpulation will report to the designated arena within the prison yard. Dependent on the prison’s funds, this celebration will typically be in a colosseum-like arrangement, with a designated Master of Ceremony appointed by the warden to announce the events. These events are chosen at random by the appointed MC and will involve pitting building teams against one another in a tournament style fashion.
Events are laid out in five competitions, ranging from intellectual challenges to physical challenges. Traditions past have had the celebration work through a tournament knockout system, where buildings whose team do not pass the first event will not proceed, and so on. Only when a building’s team has succeeded in advancing through the five competition events will they be deemed victorious and be awarded their prize.
Events have had a variety of objectives, though inmates and guards often take this opportunity to test their strength and turn the event into more of a physical test of might. None the less, the fighting does not take away from the objective of the event, as knocking your opponent into submission often has no bearings on the event at all. Past events have included competitions to test the well roundedness of the prison’s population, and are often used to catch others off guard.
Nanba Prison has historically had the oddest series of events used in their New Year’s Celebration, something many others attribute to the “wild characters’ that reside within their walls. Past events have included a Kakizome event, where guards and inmates were tested on having the most beautiful and artistic penmanship, by writing out “Happy New Year” on a banner. The second event evolved into a rather physical fight, where a team of one inmate and one guard were tasked with making the most delicious life-sized mochi, while also protecting the pot from falling off of the Durama blocks. Using rather large Durama Drop hammers, the event turned into more of a battle between buildings, but ultimately ended with one team knocking over the other’s mochi pot off the Durama blocks.
The third event played at last year’s Nanba Prison celebration, was by far the most intellectually straining event, as inmates and guards were set to play Uta-garuta against one another. This card game is a staple of New Year’s Celebrations around Japan and feature a waka poem on each card. The goal for each person was to quickly determine which card, out of an array of cards, is required to complete the first part of a poem read by the MC, and then to grab the card before it is grabbed by an opponent. The next event was Top Spinning, where up to three participants from each team had to spin a giant top and knock the other team's top out of the ring. This once again turned into a brawl focused on beating their opponent in the literal sense, rather than by completing the objective of the event. The final event at last year’s celebration was Sake Barrel Opening, which ended in great disaster after two inmates began to brawl. With precedents such as the one’s listed above, it is anyone’s guess as to what the events for this year’s celebration will be.
After the end of the events, where one building is announced as the winner, the prison will hold a large feast in each building to celebrate the end of the event. In addition to this feast, the winning team of inmates will be given 24 hours to decided and report their prize to the corresponding supervisor.
- We are planning to do this as an actual site event once we have a decent amount of users who are interested in participating.