I really appreciate the invitation to join a group of ambassadors’ wives, executives and Princess Takamado, patron of the fair, for lunch. Unfortunately, I arrived late and missed what everyone said was a dynamic show by a group of Indian dancers. Princess Takamado, always gracious, kept very busy posing for photos with her friends and fans. She is an exceptional person. Proceeds of the fair went to several worthwhile causes. Our congratulations.
Had a great laid-back lunch with Mitsuo and Lilo Maruyama, their son Helge and a group of their friends at the Starhill Chinese Restaurant in the Capitol Tokyu Hotel recently. Guests included Philippines Ambassador Domingo Siazon and his wife Kazuko (Kay), and it was nice renewing a long-time friendship with them. Lilo goes to the Philippines often and shares my love for that country and its people. I just got a card from another lady, Maria Elisa Yanagihara, who had just returned from a week in Manila. Maria Elisa’s good friend, a lady, is the Chilean Ambassador to the Philippines.
Our deepest sympathy to the British people on the loss of their much-loved Princess Margaret, an exceptional lady.
Kudos to British Ambassador Sir Stephen J. Gomersall and his wife Lady (Lydia), along with David Elliot, Assistant Director (Arts), the British Council and the many others at the embassy and the council. They had to put in a lot of time and effort to make the “Harry Potter” evening at the Gomersall residence a very special event. Much of the magical lighting was provided by huge candles or tasteful candle arrangements. A group of children from the British School dressed in Harry Potter-style clothes circulated through the crowd, passing out candy and posing for photos.
Video trailers of the “Harry Potter” film were shown on large monitors, and there were huge Harry Potter posters displayed throughout the residence. The British Tourist Authority had set up a large and interesting “Magic Britain” display, and one of Tokyo’s most talented magicians, David Letendre, entertained the children and adults as well. After brief speeches by Ambassador Gomersall and Warner Brothers Managing Director William Ireton, a special buffet of traditional British fare was served on long, candlelit tables, just like the dining room at Hogswart. It really was a magical evening in every way.
lkebana International Fair 2001, held at the Tokyo Prince Hotel, was as colorful, exciting and successful as anticipated. Wife of the Indian Ambassador Nilima Seth was chairman of the popular event and, as the lotus is the national flower of India, chose this theme: “May our lives bloom like the lotus, the symbol of truth, beauty, peace, goodness and enlightenment.” The highlight, of course, was the exhibition of magnificent ikebana arrangements by headmasters. The International Bazaar and bake sale by ambassadors’ wives and the handicrafts and bake sale by 11 members were very busy.
I often drop by the Oasis Restaurant which is right next to the Lexington Queen. The owner, Niels Thomsen, is an AmericanDane, and he’s really gone all-out to make Oasis a chic, relaxed place where you can drop in for a drink, meet and mix with interesting people and enjoy exotic food at its very best. Oasis, by the way, has a super foreign staff which includes everybody’s friend Craig Schneider who really built up Paddy Foley’s, and was shafted by that place. More and more business organizations are discovering Oasis as a cool venue function. They can do parties for groups from 10 to 200.
Congratulations to the Tokyo American Club on its special day tour to the U.S aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. The sold out tour was to meet the officers and crew of the ship and thank them for their part (a big part) in the Afghanistan situation.
Don’t forget Refugees International-Japan’s 12th annual Art of Dining exhibition. This always interesting event takes place at the Westin Tokyo Hotel in Yebisu Garden Place on Mar. 5. The opening ceremony is at 9:45 a.m., and the exhibit stays open until 4 p.m. For info, call 5500-3093.
*First published at the Tokyo Weekender