Sitting here scribbling this offering of “Party Line” in the restaurant in the San Francisco airport waiting for my connecting flight to Seattle. My waitress Ruby, one of the nicest people I’ve met in a long time, came by, looked over my shoulder and said, “You sure do look busy, hon,” as she poured me another cup of coffee. San Franciscans are really friendly, a fact I’d forgotten— along with how beautiful Bagh- dad by the Bay really is. And how much it has to offer . . but let’s return to what happened in Tokyo during the month of August.
Venezuelans in Tokyo celebrate National Day
Isao Abe, grand master of ceremonies, Imperial House hold Agency; Renzo Taguchi, chairman of the Japan-Venezuela Economic Cooperation, and Sumio Edamura, deputy foreign affairs vice-minister, were decorated with the “First Order of Merit of Francisco de Mirande,” a Venezuelan high order, for their outstanding contributions to relations between Japan and Venezuela.
On the same occasion, Tetsuo Hanawa, former as sistant director of the second Latin America and Caribbean Division of the Foreign Ministry, was decorated with sec・ ond order of the same deco ration.
After the decoration ceremony, there was one of those marvelous buffets as only Andre Lecomte can prepare them. I was really happy to have the opportunity to talk with the Ponces’ daughter Beatriz and son Carlos. Both are in Venezuela now. Beatriz will continue with her schooling there; Carlos will return to Japan this fall to continue his studies here.
On July 5th Venezuela celebrates Independence Day. On the 173rd anniversary of the independence of Venezuela celebrated in Japan, Ambassador Jesus Maria Ponce held an early evening reception in his home. It was a stag affair and that evening Ambassador Ponce conferred decorations on four very deserving gentlemen.
Gala dinner show highlights showing of Christian Dior furs
The name Christian Dior immediately makes one think of things elegant, things beautiful and things very much top hat. The gala reception Christian Dior Japan and Moon Bat K.K. held at the Okura was just that… and more! After an excellent dinner with about 200 of Tokyo’s most beautiful people, guests were treated to a spectacular showing 145 of Dior’s latest fur fashions.
Kumi Taniguchi who engi neered the elite evening came up with some interesting ideas. The flowers we were given as we entered showed us where we were sitting … as an arrangement of the same type of flowers was in the center of our table. I lucked out again, and sat with interesting people who included Francoise Morecband, Nicole Depeyre, French Press Counsellor Pierre Barroux and several others who work with Dior.
Christian Dior’s chief designer in Paris Frederic Castet flew in for the event. Promi neat guests included HIH Princess Masako Mikasa, Princess Nobuko Mikasa, her mother Kazuko Aso, Etsuko Hattori, Ken and Hanae Mori, Yasuo and Kumiko Hattori, Nobuo and Michiko Hattori, Naoka Hatano and Maxime Mitterrand.
After the dinner and the show, the mannequins moved into another room where guests had drinks, examined the furs and the designs more closely and danced to the music of an eight-piece orchestra. A per feet evening in every way.
Mansfields’ Embassy party honors Ribicoffs
The reception US. Ambassador and Mrs. Maureen Mansfield gave in honor of visiting former Senator and Mrs. Abraham Ribicoff turned out to be some kind of wild happening. Once the Mansfields greeted the guests, everyone moved into the main reception room where a half-hour or so of mixing and general conversation made the evening most pleasant.
Mike Mansfield then asked noted one of his guests pianist Joe Sera — to play a tune or two. Joe obliged — and the next thing anyone knew Dolly Baker was belting out the lyrics of “Side by Side.”
“Oh, we ain’t got a barrel of money . . Dolly warbled. “That’s a bit outdated.” Mike interjected, smiling. “The economy is looking up and things are getting better!”
Actor-comedian-musician Frankie Sakai (still well-known in America from his success in “Shogun”) took the mike and rendered his version of “Cest si bon” followed by American Chamber of Commerce in Japan President Larry Snowden who surprised everybody with a very mellow rendition of “On the Street Where You Live” from “My Fair Lady.”
As you can guess, it was a most relaxed, enjoyable evening. The Mansfields and the Ribicoffs obligingly posed for pictures with just about everyone there.
I enjoyed meeting Kokichi Matsuno, Chairman Of the Board, and Ichiro Shinji, President of JVC Victor Co. of Japan. Also glad to have the chance to congratulate Yoshihiro Takashita of the House of Antiques and his bride Reiko on their recent marriage. It was a simply marvelous evening but an evening with Mike and Maureen Mansfield and their friends always is!
Happy Birthday for Rumiko Koyanagi at Clubhouse 33
Popular singer-actress Rumiko Koyanagi who celebrated her birthday July 2. Rumiko won best supporting actress in this year’s Japan Academy Awards. To help her celebrate friends joined her in a party at Clubhouse 33.
I first met popular singer Rumiko Koyanagi at a house party Shin and Misa Watanabe gave about five years ago; I’ve been one Of her fans ever since. She’s matured considerably, has become even more beautiful over the years and, in addition to her singing career, has become an excellent actress. She won the Japan “Academy Award” this year for best sup- porting actress.
I felt fortunate to be included in a group of a hundred or so of Rumiko’s friends, joining in celebrating her birthday recently at Clubhouse 33 in Roppongi. There was an enormous birthday cake, flowers, gifts and music by one of Watanabe Productions’ young groups.
Guests included Shin and Misa, singer Ann Lewis (looking good With her ‘ ‘new image”), handsome (pretty?) transvestite Carousel Maki (looking a bit more butch than before), designer Yukiko Hanai and a host of directors and producers involved in Rumiko’s many projects. Our sincerest congratulations to Rumiko a beautiful, talented and nice young woman.