If you've been watching the news, I'm sure you've seen this:
The man in the middle is now former Finance Minister Nakagawa, who showed up at a press conference at the G-7 summit in what seemed like a state of, let's say, complete inebriation. He's since resigned, though he claims he was not drunk, but had just taken too much cold medicine, or just a bad mix of cold medicine and a little tipple at lunch.
Which leads to today's word, one that has been used a lot in the news reports about this incident:
醜態 しゅうたい shuutai
This means 'unseemly (ugly) disgraceful behavior'. (If you break down the kanji, 醜means 'ugly', and 態 means 'behavior'.) People in Japan seem to be most upset about the fact that he did this on a world stage, and that the international media has been making fun of it. (Sort of like the George Bush Sr. throwing up incident, or the shoe-throwing at Bush Jr. incident, etc.)
A more informal word that's also been used is
恥さらし はじさらし hajisarashi
恥 (haji) means shame, so はじさらし means to expose ones shame, to disgrace yourself publicly.
Also related is
恥をかく はじをかく haji o kaku
This means to shame or disgrace onesself.
Mr. Nakagawa has been accused of being a 恥さらし、disgracing himself (and, it's implied, by extension the Japanese government and the Japanese people) to the world. In a society like Japan, where saving face is of paramount importance, this is a big, big deal.
So boys and girls, let's not mix alcohol and cold medicine and then go out and hold a press conference! Remember YouTube! ^_^;
Footnote: When I first saw this on BBC News, they just showed Mr. Nakagawa by himself. I didn't realize there were two people flanking him. Now why didn't they stop him from going out? Didn't anyone backstage in the Japanese delegation stop him? What a mess.
This is Mr. Nakagawa sober, as he announced his resignation (as Finance Minister; he's still a Member of Parliament). Uh..he sounds a bit drunk normally...