Grace Saito, Atsuko Umeda, Ambassador Jaafar Maowi

Bill Hersey’s Partyline February 2nd, 2001


Massy’s just taken off for a golf holiday in Malaysia, and I introduced him to former Malaysian Ambassador H.M. Khatib and his wife Noni, both avid golfers, and I hope they were able to get together.

I ran into Bob Simmons who was at the reception on Roppongi’s main street a few weeks later. I’m looking forward to seeing the newly published book of photos he has taken during his 15 years in Japan.

Long-time friend, HIP President Massy Hayashi, took a break but has come back strong on the music promotional scene. He currently has award-winning pop star Christina Aguilera in Japan to do a series of concerts. His next big group is Australia’s leg­endary veteran (19 years) rock group AC/DC.

Smash just brought in Limp Bizkit, and I really enjoyed partying with them two nights at the Lex. Other feature acts brought in by Smash include Rammstein from Germany, J.J. 72 from England, Eddie Reader (also from England) and Sonic Youth. Smash as you probably know, is the moving force behind the now-annual Fuji Rock Festival.

Another promoter, Creative Man, has the group Journey in town, and I showed them photos we had taken together at the Lex in 1985. Their next big project is the controversial (I like the guy), Marilyn Manson. Just read he broke up with his latest squeeze, and I’ll ask him about that. C.M. also has two groups of friends, Offspring and Greenday, scheduled in March.

Lots of celebrity visits scheduled for film promotions as well. The 12-year-old actor Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense”) was in Tokyo to promote the box office hit “Pay It Forward” for Warner Brothers. Talk about smart. W.B. also has superstar Meg Ryan coming soon to promote “Proof of life.” he action film was, for the most part, shot on location in one of my favorite get­aways-Ecuador. We should all cry over the oil spill in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. I tripped around the islands several years back, and it’s the closest I ever got to nature. Princess Hitachi visited there and feels the same way.

I got a call on Jan. 23 from actor Stephen Dorff. He’s here with director John Waters to promo the film, “Cecil B. Demented” for Prenom. Stephen loves to party and will be here almost a week-and that means a lot of late nights for me, but he’s fun to be with, so I don’t mind at all. More on Stephen and John later.


Whatever Grace Saito does, she does with a touch of class. The luncheon concert she hosted at the Tokyo City Club to bid sayonara to outgoing Czech Ambassador Josef Havlas and his wife Ivana was no exception. I couldn’t stay but am happy I dropped by. Josef and Ivana are good friends who, with their competence, charm and outgoing personalities, are missed by all who know them. Mitsuo Maruyama stayed on and told me the lunch, as always at the City Club, was excellent and the concert truly enjoyable.

”Truly enjoyable” also best describes the reception hosted by Turkish Ambassador Yarnan Baskut and his wife Filiz on the occasion of the 77th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. It was wall-to-wall people inside the spacious residence, and the garden was full of interest­ing people as well. Travel specialist Nobuko Saito was there, and I enjoyed introducing her to Omani First Secretary Riyadh Macki Nobuko has taken several Japanese groups to Oman and knows the country well. I just got a card from former Turkish Ambassador to Japan Engin Yazicioglu. He’s posted in Ankara, is single now and just had two exhibitions of photos he had taken while in Japan.

Lots of people, lots of bidding and lots of money generated for a very worthy cause at the specious residence of British Ambador Sir Stephen Gomersall and his wife Lydia. The occasion was the Tokyo English Life Line (TELL) 2000 Connoisseur’s Auction Special Edition. Happy to hear from TELL executive director Bernard Yu and the auction’s chairman Terry Wilson their largest fundraising event was a big success. It was the same a few weeks later when they sold out for a special screening of Warner Brothers’ “Pay It Forward” which was, thanks to Bill Ireton, held at Warners’ screening room.

The annual Egyptian Bazaar is always a colorful happening, and Ambassador Mahmoud Karem sort of stands back and lets his wife Yasmina, with the help of her daughters Reem and Amina and ladies of the Egyptian community, handle this special event. He is, however, right there, as Yasmina is for his projects, ready, willing and enthusiastic to help in anyway he can. I love the Bazar with its Egyptian food, handicrafts, jewelry and music. lt always brings back memories of Cairo’s exotic and exciting Khan-Khalili Bazaar. This year’s Egyptian Bazaar at the embassy was graced by the presence of, as you can see by the photo, an absolutely radiant Princess Takamado. She was even more chic than usual with a new, shorter hair style she had gotten on a recent trip to Cairo. The Bazaar, judging by the crowd, was a big success. Our congratulations.


Wall Street in Roppongi is a good bar run by some really nice African guys (Eddie and the others). As the T-shirt says, “Shit happens,” and it just takes one drunk in a club to make a problem. Wall Street’s staff works hard to make it one of the most enjoyable bars in Roppongi. They’ve recently opened another bar, Wall Street House, in the basement of the Imperial Roppongi Building (next to the Roi Building). Check it out.

The Lexington Queen (Lex) disco will hold its annual Valentine’s Day party on Saturday, Feb. 10. The ¥3,000 entrance fee includes three drinks, an open buffet, chocolates and a chance to win a door prize.

If you’re looking for something special for that special person in your life, drop by the Hilton Tokyo. The cakes and chocolates they’ve created for Valentine’s Day are original and delicious.

Had coffee with Japan’s top hair stylists, Fumio Kawashima, a few days ago and, talk about a success story. In 23 years, after studying under Vidal Sassoon, Fumio has opened six Peek-a-Boo hair salons in the Harajuku-Aoyama areas. He has 90 employees and will take on 25 more. Fumio’s clients include celebrities,  society, diplomats and a few superstars. He’s a busy man but takes time out to play golf and put together a chic and trendy photo book every year. His most recent book is titled Peek-a-boo Rio. The shops are closed Mondays. For info or an appointment, call Fumio at 5411-0848.

*First published at the Tokyo Weekender

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