Ermakoffs dinner party

Bill Hersey’s Partyline June 1977

WELCOME TO Tony and Sarah Blishen who recently arrived in Tokyo and are setting up their home here. Tony is First Secretary at the British Embassy. They came here from London with two of their sons. The other two boys are at boarding school in the U.K. We wish them a long, happy stay.

Congratulations to Mexican Counsel-General Ramon Rodriquez on his birthday May 10. His lovely wife Rita had planned to get some friends together but everyone was so busy that day, she’s put it off for a few weeks. Aki Mori, who runs Studio V, sent Ramon a congratulatory telegram from New York where he was helping his mother Mori Hanae with her latest collection showing

CONGRATULATIONS TO Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda on the publishing of his book, “Mu To Hoshii to Gorin.” This is an autobiography and the literal translation is “Chrysanthemum, Star and Five Olympic Rings.” The chrysanthemum is the crest of the Imperial Family, and star refers to the Imperial army and the Olympic rings his interest in sports and memberships in the International Olympic Committee. We just couldn’t get over to the Takanawa Prince for the reception that the publisher “Baseball Magazine” held May 11, but I hear that over 600 of his friends were there to help him launch his book..

Sayonara Party for the Kaltentahlers

Kaltentahlers farewell

Klaus and Bee Kaltenthaler were back from their world travels (they’re gone again by now) and had a lot of fun friends over to their Ebisu pad on Saturday the 4th. The occasion was to say goodbye to more nice people . . . Keiko Collins, who will soon be joining her husband Dick in the U.S., and Wayne and Janet Glazier (Winthrop Laboratories) who will be moving back to New York after eight years in Japan.

Another special guest that evening was Bee’s “knock out” looking sister Teena who’s visiting here from Manila. Bee was a knock out herself that evening in a turquoise floral print tropical look-long dress and a white gardenia in her hair. The Kaltenthaler boys were all helping at the bar and they had a giant of a teenage friend, Kurt Beyer who was also helping. Learned later this lad—over six feet tall—is the son of “The Destroyer,” the very popular masked pro wrestler here.

Just to mention a few of the other guests: Kumiko and Toto Hattori (their husbands were in the U.S.), Moroccan Ambassador Abdeslam Tadlaoui and his wife Zoubida (she was wearing a very interesting green print dress), Egyptian Ambassador Mohsen and Noha Khalek, Jane Scolinos and her three daughters (Kathy, Pat and Elaine), Terry Van Der Sloot, Mitsuo and Lilo Maruyama and the Piero Ianelli’s. The Glaziers and Charles and Katy Hagedorn arrived late as they had been at another party. After dinner, talked awhile with the Egyptian Ambassador who told me that Egypt’s President Sadat will be visiting Japan in early November.

Reception at the British Embassy

Started up again on the 9th at a party I wouldn’t have missed for anything. This was a reception British Ambassador Sir Michael and Lady Joan Wilford were giving at their residence to celebrate the Birthday and Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We were told it wouldn’t dare rain that evening until after 7 and as cloudy as it was, it didn’t.

I was so glad for my British friends as the garden at the embassy is so beautiful and they had arranged everything so well for this special occasion. The garden is huge and it was still crowded, to give you some idea of how many people were there. There was a huge bar set up in one corner, and paper lanterns, tiki torches.

Italian National Day

In addition to a mix of diplomats, Japanese Government world, there was a large group of priests and nuns who live and work in and around Tokyo. It was nice seeing these people who give so much to others enjoying the evening out.

I spent much of the evening rapping with Italian friends who were there. These included Cantatore Domenico who runs a trading company in Osaka, Alitalia’s Carlo Morelli and his Enza, I.C.E.’s Dott. Corrias and his Rosalia and a super single gal, Tilly Bassano. She’s off to Florida for holidays soon, the Corrias family has left for holidays in Italy by now and Dott. Massi, also of I.C.E., his wife Pia and three children Francesco, Sylvia and Marco are about to leave for the Venice Lido to spend much of the summer with their families there.

Sometime during the middle of the party a large group (about 40) of Italian nurses here for the Int’l Convention up and Mrs. Tornetta immediately had extra tables set up and food brought in for them. It was a splendid reception, and our congratulations to our Italian friends on their National Day.

Farewell Dinner for Iranian Ambassador Abdol Hossein Hamzavi

Got my friends off to Europe and managed to get myself together and over to the Aobadai residence of Egyptian Ambassador Mohsen Khalek the next eve. He and Noha were hosting a buffet-dinner to bid sayonara to Iranian Ambassador Abdol Hossein Hamzavi ad his wife Elizabeth. There are always interesting people at the Khaleks and these casual get togethers really give you a chance to meet and talk with them individually and in small groups. In addition to the regular guests there were several new faces there that evening. I was really taken with Janet Rodes, a very elegant and very interesting young lady of 82. My grandmother, whom I’ll see next week in Oregon, is 86 and I’m crazy about her. Janet’s the mother of Janet Hester, whose husband Jim is rector of the United Nations University here.

Dinner at the Ermakoffs

Another nice group of people at Walter and Natalie Ermakoff‘s tasteful Shimouma home. The weather was just perfect that evening and tables had been set up on the lantern-lit patio.

I enjoyed meeting Brian and Nola Watkins who are new on the Tokyo scene. Brian is manager for South African Airways. Other guests included Belgium Ambassador Raoul Dooreman and his wife Janine; Greek Ambassador Jean C. Cambiotis and his wife Alexandra and Geil and Chris Pretorius of the South African Consulate.

Mary von Hirschberg was wearing some beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry and her husband, Carl, South African General-Counsellor told us they had bought it on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Well-known interior decorator Mild-red Warder was also wearing some very interesting jewelry. Natalie introduced me to Barbara Swift, visiting Tokyo on the way to Peking. Barb’s husband Charlie used to head IBM here. It was an enjoyable evening of the type of relaxed cordiality one always encounters at the Ermakoffs.


On the morning of May 25th the Argentine Ambassador Carlos Jaime Fraguio was hosting a mostly-male reception to celebrate Argentina’s National Day. It was cloudy, but the rain held off and most of the guests—including diplomats, Japanese government officials and business people—moved out into the garden after congratulating the ambassador and Argentine Consul Juan Rinaldi.

Joined British Ambassador Sir Michael Wilford . . . an extremely busy man with all the special activities to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We talked about Canada and I learned Lady Joan has a sister living north of Vancouver and the Wilfords will be going there themselves for a visit later this summer.

Nicaraguan Ambassador Julio U. Gutierrez told me his wife Gunnel is in Europe and will meet him for a few days in the U.S. before they go back to Nicaragua on home leave. To the other side of the garden where Jorge Matoba of pearl fame (he’s also an expert on Latin music) was chatting with Shujaat Hasan Khan, Counsellor of the Pakistan Embassy, and Mexican Minister-Counsellor Carlos A. Bado.

Carlos said he will be leaving in late June or early July, get married in the U.S., spend some holidays in Mexico and then go on to his next post. Others in the crowd included K. Godage of the Sri Lanka Embassy, Captain Marvin L. Duke of the U.S. Embassy, the Japan Times’ Yoshio Higashiuchi and French Minister-Counsellor Serge Eluecque.

Mrs. Fraguio joined the party for a short time . . . her silver jewelry was exceptional. She has plans to visit her son, attending school in Buenos Aires, this summer.

14th Anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU)

14th Anniversary of the Organization of African Unity

Thursday, May 26th, I joined Africa’s many friends at the New Otani to celebrate the 14th Anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The party was hosted by the heads of the African missions in Tokyo and was a lively and colorful affair.

Many of the ambassadors, their ladies and African students wore their national costumes which provided a kaleidoscope of color and design. Four ambassadors or members of the various embassies in OAU greeted guests as they entered.

These alternated during the evening with different diplomats taking turns in the receiving line while others mingled with the crowd. The OAU has 48 members countries (20 are in Tokyo) and this was the first time they’ve held their own reception here.

Standing above and out in the crowd was Sudanese Ambassador El-Baghir Abdel Mutaal swathed in the all white Sudanese national costume and flanked by his wife Mahasin and her sister Asma El Nur, both is their colorful Sudanese costumes. Asma, who studies in the Sudan, is here on holiday.

Liberian Ambassador Ernest Eastman, just back from an official trip to Indonesia, introduced me to C. Ansumana Cooper, assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for African and Asian Affairs for Liberia. Other new faces for me that evening included recently arrived Mexican Ambassador and Mrs. Xavier Olea Muitoz and Peruvian Ambassador and Mrs. Cesar Espejo-Romero.

Olive Sackey’s uncle—Prof. Harold H. Phillips, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ghana Medical School who was here for the International Medical Conference—was at the reception with Dr. Yoshito Tsuji, president of the Fukushima Medical School. They also introduced me to Mr. Murakami, Japan’s former Ambassador to Ghana. One of Mr. Murakami’s great contributions to Ghana was arranging for the Dr. Noguchi Memorial Medical Research Center in Accra.

Ceremony for the new Pakistan Chancery

Toru Hagiwara, Begum Marker 1977

Pakistan Ambassador and Begum Jamsheed Marker had invited us to the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the new Pakistan Chancery. Chairs had been set up under a canopy and the ceremony started with a recitation from the Koran. This was repeated in English followed by a short speech by Ambassador Marker. Begum Marker, wearing a brilliant blue floral print sari.

The guests were invited to partake of what the Ambassador referred to “as a small snack.” The long tables were loaded with a wide variety of Pakistan dishes and everyone wanted to try a little bit of everything—and that added up to a lot.

Guests included Saudi Arabian Ambassador Zein A. Dabbagh; Malaysian Ambassador Lim Tails Choon; Bangladesh Ambassador Mustafa Kamal; Hirold Imazato, president of the Japan-Pakistan Association; Dr. Saadollah Ghaussy, Chargé de Affaires of the Afghanistan Embassy, and Hadi Debs.

Che-Chan Plessner introduced me to a really dynamic Japanese lady . . . Miyoko Takagi whose husband Hiroichi has been Japan’s Ambassador to Greece, Pakistan and Denmark.

Dinner hosted by Jordanian Ambassador Amer Shammout

My last stop that day was at the Ichiban-cho residence of Jordanian Ambassador Amer Shammout who was hosting a buffet-dinner for a group of friends. The spacious apartment which includes a classical Japanese tea room and an indoor garden was made even more attractive by many flower arrangements by Yuko Iwamoto.

Dewi Sukarno'

It was Dewi Sukarno’s last evening in town (she left for Paris the next day) and she had stayed on especially for this party. She looked as lovely and fresh as ever, wearing a long blue-and-white polka dot chiffon dress that featured a white collar and a huge polka dot bow at the collar.

Ambassador Shammout’s wife Hiyam is in Jordan supervising the building of their new house, but the Ambassador with his lively intelligence and sense of humor did a topnotch job of hosting the affair with the help of his second secretary Samir Naouri and his lovely wife Shizuko.

Among the crowd that evening: Iran Air’s Masoud Refghi, Mitsuo and Lilo Maruyama and John and Didi Tolouse. Ambassadors and their ladies included Turkish Ambassador Celal Eyiceoglu and his wife Nell (tanned from her Bali holiday), Yugoslavian Ambassador Mireslav Kreacic.

Farewell Party for Swiss Counsellor Andre Maillard

The party that evening, hosted by Swiss Ambassador Pierre Cuenoud was to say goodbye to the Swiss Counsellor Andre Maillard who’s been in Japan since 1973, and to meet his successor Guy Hentsch and his lovely wife Bella. Mr. Maillard will return to Switzerland and the Hentsches come to Tokyo from Washington D.C. where they were posted for four years. The residence was packed that evening with the Cuenouds’ many friends…a mixture of interesting people from all walks of life.

Familiar faces included Hartmut and Morita Schluze-Boysen of the Germann Embassy (they’ll be leaving themselves soon), Antonio and Ana Maria Santiago of the Portuguese Embassy, Paul and Elisabeth Hartig of the Austrian Embassy, Irish Ambassador David and Mrs. Neilgan, Wolfgang and Margarethe Ernst of the EEC, Hideo and Kazuko Kagami (he heads the Mid-East Section of the Gaimu-sho) and Dr. and Che-Chan Plessner.

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