My thanks to Lilo Maruyama who picked me and Kyoko Spector up at the Grand Hyatt and had her driver take us to visit Grace Saito at the ultra-modern, nice retirement home Platecia she’s living in. Many of you know Grace from the many classical concerts she set up at most of the major hotels here for various charities. She was asleep, but happy when I woke her up. In a very short time, her assistant brought her out, and she really looked good. We stayed about 45 minutes, and it was obvious she was very happy with our visit. If you have time you should visit her. I guarantee she’ll be happy you did. To make an appointment, call the receptionist on O3-3798-4401.
MIN-ON’S DYNAMIC CHINESE ACROBATS’ SHOW
Thanks to the Min-on Concert Association, I’ve had the opportunity to see all three of the shows by the renowned China National Acrobatic Troupe. The Z016 show was titled “Acrobatic Fantasy Drama — Be Brilliant! Master Chef Panda.” The show, with its beautiful sets, colorful costumes, and hard-to-believe acrobatics, was entertainment at its best. After the show at Nakano Sun Plaza, I joined many Min-on guests in one of the building’s party venues for a lavish buffet and the opportunity to meet and mix with the super cast. Most didn’t speak much English, but I was lucky as one really cool lady helped me to communicate with most of the performers. When I asked her where she learned her English, she said, “Oh, I worked with Cirque du Soleil in the US and Canada for two years.
POLISH CONSTITUTION DAY – NEW OTANI
On the occasion of the Constitution Day of Poland, Ambassador (Zyryl Kozaczewski, his wife Iwona, and their staff hosted a people-packed glittering reception at the Hotel New Otani. The Ambassador and his wife are a popular couple and there were a lot of their interesting Japanese and international friends there enjoying the celebration. The military was well represented by the Polish defense attache, a young female marine from the US, and a high-ranking ofﬁcer from the Japanese Self Defense Force — all in full uniform. Polish intern Natalia, who looked very stylish in her country’s national costume, added color to the crowd.
AZERBAIJAN’S GLITTERING RECEPTION
Our Azerbaijani friends Ambassador Gursel Ismayilzade, his wife Rana, their super little son, Nurse] and their always helpful staff hosted an exciting reception at the Ok\1ra’s Maple Room. The occasion was to celebrate their country’s Republic Day. Rana, as always, looked like she stepped right off the fashion pages of “Vogue” magazine. The other ladies from the embassy were very chic as well. After the ambassador’s welcome speech, and short congratulatory messages by several Japanese dignitaries, the many guests really relaxed and enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere of the evening.
JORDAN’S 70TH INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
Over at the Okura Hotel, Jordan Ambassador Demiye Haddad and his wife Shafik held a very special reception on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iordan. It was also to celebrate the Centennial of the Great Arab Revolt. Shafik has an interior designers’ touch and had worked with the hotel staff in setting up interesting displays of ]ordanian art, fashion, and handicrafts throughout the party venue.
URAWA REDS IN SAITAMA
During my 30 years of club-hopping in Roppongi, I had the opportunity to meet and get to know many of the world’s top soccer players. I also enjoyed watching the matches on TV. Needless to say, I was really happy when one of Saitama’s most important businessmen, Tsukasa Shiga, took me and my friends to a game in the huge Saitama Stadium between ]apan’s top team the Urawa Reds and Niigata. I knew Shiga, one of the team’s sponsors, was important but didn’t know that we, as his guests would also be treated royally. We were met by city officials and the Urawa Reds President Keizo Fuchita. They took us up to the VIP dining room for a delicious buffet. We also got to meet some of Urawa team as well as Lufthansa’s GM for japan, Donald Bunkenburg, who’s also a Reds sponsor. Shiga’s other guest was fashion/TV personality Dewi Sukarno, who was dressed all in red to honor the Urawa Reds and was a big hit. Saitama Stadium is awesome and the game, the crowd, the ﬂags, the music, and the energy added up to a great day in every way.
*First published at the Tokyo Weekender
*Images Copyright: Tsukasa Shiga