Jan-Michael Vincent and Bill Hersey

Bill Hersey’s Partyline May 1985

“Ran” is making big news this week ….and “run” is the word if you’re trying to cover Tokyo’s very busy social scene. “Ran,” of course, is Akira Kurosawa’s new film which opened the First Tokyo International Film Festival on Friday, May 31. On that day there was a star-studded opening ceremony at NH K Hall, a press conference at the Crystal ROOM in the New Otani for the celebs here for the Charity Tennis Tournament and a glittering party that evening at the Tokyo Prince Hotel.

In addition to all this are a host of parties, receptions at embassies, friends’ homes and hotels, It’s all very exciting, but a little heavy now as I really can’t spend as much time at each happening as I’d like, ..I really am sorry about that.

Gala Yuya-Interform fashion show at Arflex showroom 

Anna Yuki-Lee, the designer Yuya Nagahata, Cathie Yonke and Interform President Shoro Kawazoe.
Anna Yuki-Lee, the designer Yuya Nagahata, Cathie Yonke and Interform President Shoro Kawazoe.

I did get to the Arflex show- room in the Axis Building on a Sunday afternoon where Yuya Nagahata, in cooperation with Interform-Arflex, was showing his Spring ’85 Collection. I’m glad we got there early and got settled in some of the super-comfortable Arflex chairs before the crowd became SRO. 

Yuya’s fashions, like the crowd, were chic and sophisticated. He, as you know, specializes in the use of classic kimono silks in contemporary fashions. You can check these out by calling 408-8749 and making an appointment to visit his boutique. The Arflex furniture is available for leasing through Interform Co. Ltd.

Happy Reception at French Embassy honors Comite Colbert

Former Japaese Ambassador to France Hiroshi Uchida, Moni- que Pietrini, Chanel Chairman and President 
Michel Pietrini and Mme. Ross
Former Japanese Ambassador to France Hiroshi Uchida, Moni- que Pietrini, Chanel Chairman and President Michel Pietrini and Mme. Ross

Our French friends haven’t been taking it easy and have been busy the last few weeks. French Ambassador and Mme. André Ross held a huge reception at their home to introduce the many visitors who were here from France for the France-Colbert Exhibition, “Arts de Vivre en France.” After a series of speeches, there was superb buffet catered by André LeComte who once again proved he is a master of his trade. 

The hostess, Therese Anne Ross, is an exceptional woman. who moved through the crowd of well over 400 that evening, making sure guests got to know each other, had plenty to eat and were enjoying themselves. It was an especially hectic evening for her, but she handled it beautifully. I personally appreciate her time and efforts in introducing me to the many visiting VIPs from Paris. 

Another evening, under the patronage of Ambassador and Mme. Ross, Gilles Fuchs, President of Nina Ricci, gave a reception at the Sogetsu Kaikan to introduce Nina Ricci’s new men’s toiletries line, “Phileas,” named after Phileas Fogg of “Around the World In Eighty Days.” In keeping with the theme, “Tour du Monde in 80 jours,” Ikebana masters had created arrangements of their interpretations of various countries.

Guests included diplomats, Japanese government officials, business leaders and familiar faces from the arts, music and fashion worlds who were asked to choose their favorite. Mine was Egypt as that arrangement really did bring back memories of the two great weeks I spent there last October. 

All the arrangements were so original and artistic, it was difficult to decide, and China came out the winner. 

Yves Alemany, Nina Ricci’s Representative Director in Japan, told me he was making a move and by now has taken on new work as General Re- presentative Director of Kenzo Paris K.K. I’m sure he’ll do as good a job for Kenzo as he has for Nina Ricci. 

Partying at LEX Tokyo

One very special guest that evening was American actor Jan-Michael Vincent who it seems everyone knows through his films and his commercials here for Kirin Seagram and Toyota.

There’s been a parade of stars boogieing through the Lexington Queen over Roppongi way. They include no one less than Harrison Ford (who you must see in his new film “Witness”), Julian Lennon (who puts on one helluva concert), one of the world’s top and most personable guitarists, Jeff  Baxter (formerly of the Doobic Brothers and here with Julian), U.K. rock star Paul Young and many more…

Jordanian Dinner Party for Old Friends

The special guest of honor, Dr. Hasidim Dabbas, President, Audit. Bureau visiting Japan from Amman, Jordan, and the host and hostess, Jordianian Ambassador and Mrs. Sa'ad Batainah.
The special guest of honor, Dr. Hasidim Dabbas, President, Audit. Bureau visiting Japan from Amman, Jordan, and the host and hostess, Jordianian Ambassador and Mrs. Sa’ad Batainah.

Arab hospitality, as always, was at its best at the home of Jordanian Ambassador Sa’ad Batainah and his wife Nuha on the evening of May 17. The occasion was a dinner party for their longtime friend Dr Hashim Dabbas, President, Audit Bureau, Amman, Jordan, and a group of colleagues who were in Japan for the Third Assembly and the Second International Seminar of ASOSAI.

The buffet was supurb, the people interesting and. the ambiance just right. Sa’ad who was educated in the U.S. made a speech and his talks — although always sprinkled with a bit of homer — are very meaningful, The only sad part of the evening was when he told me that he and his family would be returning to Jordan for a new assignment. Nuha left a few days later and Sa’ad will leave the 15th.

The Batainahs have only been here one and a half years, but during that time have done so much to promote trade, better understanding and friendship between Jordan and Japan. In addition to all this, they’ve taken the time to show the Japanese Jordanian culture and have traveled all over the country meeting interesting people from all walks of life. Sa’ad and Nuha are exceptional people and very special friends. They will really be missed by all who got to know them. We wish them the best in their new posting.

Bill Hersey’s PEOPLE: PR rep, author Judith Connor 

Whether she’s dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt speeding through Roppongi on her bike or modelling a chic silk creation by Yuya on the ramp, Judith Connor is a woman who knows where she’s going. Judith was born in California of a military family. They moved around a lot and living in places like Alaska, New York City and France gave her a very international outlook as a child. father was later posted at Seattle, Washington, where she attended junior high and high school after which she enrolled 1 class at the University of Washington. She was graduated with a degree in classical Greek. 

Judith Connor
Judith Connor

Judith planned to study law but need- ed a break and felt she’d like to travel again. She had some friends who had traveled by modeling, so contacted the Liberty Agency here in Tokyo. They gave her a contract and she came to Tokyo in 1980 with the intention of staying two months. 

“I woke up early one morning and took a walk around Roppongi,” Judith recalls and added “At that time my in- tuition told me I was going to be here a long time.” She also felt she was quite fortunate in making some interesting friends in music and other fields rather than modeling. 

After six months in Japan she return- ed to the University of Washington for a three-month intensive course in Japanese. It was fun, she remembers, as her Seattle friends thought she was a bit flukey with her Harajuku fashions and Yellow Magic Orchestra and Plastics LP Records. “It’s different now, though; they all want news on what’s happening in Japan,” she told me. 

In 1981 she returned to Tokyo for more modeling, stayed a few months, then went back to the University of Washington for still more Japanese study. 

Then it was back to Tokyo again where she decided to get involved in projects connected with contemporary culture (art, music and the theater) here. It wasn’t easy breaking into this but she volunteer- ed to do some interviews for radio and magazines, got to know the right people and was soon being called to help with projects she had hoped for. 

At this point she decided to go to New York City to study arts management. In New York friends advised her to go back to Japan and learn while she was actually working there. She followed their advice and has been involved in all kinds of fun and interesting projects since. 

The one she’s best known for is her collaboration with Mayumi Yoshida on the compiling and writing of the popular book, “Tokyo City Guide,” going into its second printing. It will be sold over- seas as of this September. 

The book, according to Judith, was the turning point and was instrumental in her becoming professional. Current pro- jects include working with Interform, a top furniture leasing company here, set- ting up art exhibits in Japan, consulting on a Japanese Theater and Arts Festival for Minneapolis and advising a group of National Geographic people who have been here to do photos and a story on contemporary Japan for that noted magazine. 

Judith is busy, as you can see. When she does have time, her favorite hobby is bicycling which she feels is a real way to get out and see Japan. She’s an exceptional lady and with her background, knowledge, contacts and enthusiasm, I’m sure we’ll be hearing even more about her in the future. 

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