I ran into Tokyoite Ilan Muir at his shop in the mall and he told me his sales have been good. Ilan has recently rented a space in the mall and is selling a fashion line he represents here. The line “Johnny O” is cool colorful California casual wear the designer Johnny O’Donnell one of the brothers of an actor friend of mine, Chris O’Donnell. Chris as you may know got his big break co-starring with Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. I met him when he was in Japan promoting Batman and Robin for Warner Brothers. We became good friends and when I went to Hollywood for the film premiere and party. Chris really went all out to make sure I met a lot of famous and interesting people.
Several good people left Tokyo, for example Romano Mazzucco who headed Alitalies operations here for 20 years. He has now relocated to Australia. Romano was a great friend and I’ll always remember him giving me the opportunity to see much of the world by inviting me on many of the airline’s inaugural flights; those were the days. Grazie Romano, all the best with your family in your new home!
Arab bazaar at Oman Embassy
A big and well-deserved kudos to the members of the society of wives of Arab ambassadors and heads of missions in Japan (Swaaj). Their colorful charity bazaar to help the victims of 3/11 could not have been bigger or better. Abeer al Muslahi, wife of the Omanian ambassador and at the time of the bazaar, president of Swaaj is a great lady with an amazing ability at organizing. The event was held at the beautiful Omani embassy and an hour or so before it opened there was already a long line (over a city block) of people waiting to get in. Most of the visitors shopped for Arab handicrafts, jewelry, fashions, carpets and interesting souvenirs from the participating countries. Others had busy artists decorating their arms and hands with intricate henna tattoos or had their photos taken in something from a wide variety of Arabic fashion they had to choose from.
Roo’s Independence Day Celebration
US ambassador John V. Roos and his wife Susan, really went all out to make the 235th anniversary party of American independence one of the biggest and best ever. Between 3/11 and US japan relations the theme this July 4th we honor Japan” was perfect. Every room in the residence was full of people from all over the world, and that my friends is the USA. Once guests congratulated the ambassador (who woreblue while Susan who looked super chic in red) many moved into the main reception room for a photo with a lifesize and very realistic looking photo of president and Mrs. Obama.
Susan sold copies of her new recipe book, which is based on her vegetable patch at the embassy—proceeds went to helping rebuild Onagawacho in Miyagi prefecture that really suffered during 3/11. Needless to say, I left the party feeling proud to be an American and proud to have John and Susan as our top representatives here in wonderful Japan during the country’s troubled times.
Tokyo’s certainly keeping busy with what seems to be 24/7 roadworks and construction. I notice new shops and restaurants opening all over our city and I’m really thankful for the optimistic people behind that. (Check out the big beautiful new Mercedes Benz building in Roppongi!). There’s sell considerable concern about “the big one” hitting Tokyo, but I’ve been hearing that since I first came to Tokyo decades ago so I’m not too worried! I’ve seen some interesting signs of the ernes recently: There was a classified ad on the bulletin board at National Azabu supermarket recently offering Geiger counters for rent by the hour! Not sure if really need these.
*First published at the Tokyo Weekender
*Images Copyright: Tsukasa Shiga