Saturday the 1st, the Takanawa Prince Hotel held its annual autumn garden party and later, John and Didi Toulose gave many of us the opportunity to meet their friend the Dalai Lama who was visiting Japan, at a tea party they gave at the New Otani. That evening, people packed what used to be Castel’s in Roppongi for the opening of the Tama Tsubaki (Tsubaki Ball), a new disco in Reiko Ikeguchi’s chain.
I did join John and Didi Toulouse and about 50 of their friends at the New Otani where John and Didi had a tea party in honor of their friend, the spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama. Others sharing that rare and very special experience included Argentine Ambassador and Señora Gabriel Oliva, Chilean Ambassador and Señora Cesar Ruiz, Yugoslavian Ambassador and Mrs. Sabira Hasimbegovic, Jordanian Ambassador and Mrs. Zahayr Mufti, Eugene and June Schaeffer of the U.S. Embassy, Zoubida Tadlaoui, wife of the Moroccan Ambassador, Dr. and Mrs. Davidson McDowell of the Tokyo Union Church, and J.S. and Emelia Voerman of Garuda Airlines.
The Dalai Lama, just 45, was accompanied by his younger brother, nephew and several monks and spoke to just about everyone individually; later he made a short, but very dynamic and warm speech. He mentioned his visit to Canada to see the approximately 400 Tibetans living there, and his stopover in Honolulu “where there’re two Tibetan Centers, and two Tibetans.”
He said that although it was the first time he had met the guests, he felt as if they were all his brothers and sisters. He went on to say that regardless of the differences in color, religion, background, culture or ideologies, all people are human beings, and should accept each other as brothers and sisters. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone felt this way? In closing, he thanked his friends, the Toulouses for arranging the get together, and thanked the guests for coming. The Dalai Lama left the next day for a two-week trip around Japan. My sincerest thanks to John and Didi for the opportunity to meet this extraordinary man.
Tama Tsubaki Opening
That evening a new disco, the Tama Tsubaki (Tsubaki Ball) opened in Roppongi. It’s in the Roppongi Square Building where Castel’s used to be, is owned by nightlife tycoon Reiko Ikeguchi, is a sister club to the popular Tsubaki House in Shinjuku and, for the most part, caters to a very young crowd.
As usual on opening nights, the place was wall-to-wall people. We stopped by to congratulate our friend, super-personable Toshiro Sato who will be managing the place, but decided to go back another night when things aren’t quite so hectic. Rupert Holmes will be giving two concerts at the Tama Tsubaki on Monday the 24th. Showtimes are 8 and 11 p.m. Met him a few nights later—what a nice guy!
Tuesday, Nov. 4, we joined a large and colorful crowd at the home of Col. and Mrs. Luciano Bonalumi. The colonel is the Italian Air, Military and Naval Attaché, and he and his wife Catherine were having a reception to celebrate Italian Armed Forces Day.
I really felt like a minority that evening as most of the men were military-affiliated and were in full-dress uniform. They included most of the embassies’ military attachés and a large contingent of high-ranking officers from the Japan Self Defense Forces. Other civilians there—Italian Ambassador Boris Biancheri, UTA Airlines’ Bob Legeay, and many personal friends of the Bonalumis. It was a nice celebration. My congratulations and my thanks to the colonel and Catherine for including me.
Kokusai Ikebana Association celebrates 25th Anniversary
Spent much of the 5th with friends at the Tokyo Hilton. First, there was breakfast with Martin Pray, in from Honolulu to give me a rundown on the new Pacific Islands Club in Guam; then lunch with Bob Legeay and talk about New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Tahiti. At 6 p.m. we drove down to the Imperial Hotel where Noriko Ohno held a reception to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Kokusai lkebana Association.
The Fuji Room had been especially decorated for the occasion: a Japanese garden set up in the center of the room, booths serving Japanese food set up along two walls, a western buffet and another area where sari-ed ladies from the Sri Lankan Tea Board were serving tea. The crowd was very impressive and included several ambassadors, many ambassadors’ wives, Japanese government officials, and the wives of many prominent businessmen here.
The program started off with congratulatory speeches, including words from Tunisian Ambassador Habib Ben Yahia, Aiko Anzai from the House of Councillors, Kamakura Shobo’s Prez Hasegawa-san, film actress Shiho Fujimura and Keizo Hayashi, president of the Japan Red Cross. The speeches were followed by a short film of the official opening of Kokusai Ikebana’s 25th anniversary exhibition at Mitsukoshi. It was a glittering reception that not only gave us the opportunity to congratulate Noriko Ohno, but to meet some very interesting people as well.
On Saturday the 8th the Australian community and many of their friends got together at the Tokyo Hilton for the Australia Society’s annual gala dinner-ball. I was working with a TV crew from Mexico that evening, here to film Tokyo night life, so couldn’t stay for the evening, but did drop by for cocktails. The ballroom had been beautifully decorated and the crowd was super-elegant. Holli was coming in as I was going out, so you probably read (or will be reading) her rundown on the ball itself.
That same evening, over in Shibaura, our Indian friends were celebrating their holiday Dewali. Ricky Sarani had invited me, but by the time we were finished filming, it was too late. I heard it was quite a celebration with all kinds of Indian food, classical dance and drama.
Sunday evening, the 9th, I drove over to Ari’s Lamp Light where a real hang-loose crowd (mostly showbiz) was helping TV personality Motoko Takahashi celebrate her birthday. Takeshi Terauchi showed up with a busload of “Blue Jeans” (that’s his band) and they played long, loud and well. Carru Seluu Maki — a young Japanese man who went to Turkey, had an operation or two and became a very glamorous young Japanese woman — sang, and Motoko belted out a couple of numbers herself. I heard that later she sang a rowdy duet with Corky. Unfortunately (I think) I had to leave before he and Mary came over from a dinner at Trader Vic’s with Lou Alexander (no relation) and Doug and Kumiko Peterson of Castle and Cooke in honor of Peter and Jackie Wolford of Burson-Marstellar. Peter has been transferred to the agency’s Sydney office and the popular couple will be missed here.
Tall, dynamic actress-singer Akiko Wada made the scene … she’s really something else. It was wall-to-wall people the entire evening, but Mokochan’s husband Junichi Amagasa, a leading director with Tokyo FM Broadcasting, always found time to introduce me to everyone as they entered and make sure I had a full glass of my favorite drink: grapefruit juice. A very considerate guy. The party was still in full swing when I split about 11 and all reports had the gang swinging until near daylight the next a.m. Happy birthday, Moko!
Thursday the 11th and started out at the residence of Pakistani Ambassador and Begum Abeeda Islam where a reception was honoring noted Diet member Okuda-san and a delegation he escorted to Pakistan earlier this year. The guests were mostly members of the Diet or Gaimusho officials. Ambassador Islam expressed his appreciation to Okuda-san and members of the tour group. Mr. Okuda responded with a short speech describing their mission to Pakistan and the results. A superb buffet featuring Pakistani food followed.
I did get over the U.S. Ambassador Mike Mansfield’s house for a reception they had in honor of South Carolina’s Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley and their delegation. It was a crowded party. Most of the guests were members of the American Chamber of Commerce. Since South Carolina, as are many states, is interested in Japan investment and trade, there were also some very important Japanese business leaders attending. Mr. and Mrs. Hidesaburo Shoda were there; I always enjoy talking with her, Crown Princess Michiko’s mother.
It’s easy to see where the Crown Princess get her charm and grace. Another lady I truly admire is our hostess that evening, Maureen Mansfield. She’d just returned from a few months in the States; nice to have her back “home” in Tokyo.
Celebrating Oman National Day
My first stop was the New Otani where Oman Chargé d’Affaires and Mrs. Issa Ahmed Ali Moosa were hosting a reception in the beautiful Rose Room on the occasion of the Tenth National Day of Oman.
The host looked marvelous in full Oman national costume and Mrs. Ali Moosa was lovely in a long black dress and pearls. During the early pan of the evening, they greeted guests against a colorful display of floral congratulatory messages. Later they moved into the Rose Room and mingled with their many friends.
In addition to both Japanese and western foods the bountiful buffet included some special dishes of Oman. These proved to be a favorite with everyone.
U.S. Ambassador Mike Mansfield was there, and I always enjoy the privilege of talking with him. Another guest who always has something interesting to say is former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Keisuke Arita. He now heads the Japan Economic Cooperation Agency. General talk that evening centered around the Iraq-Iran situation, predictions about the changes to come under President-elect Ronald Reagan, and lighter things such as where people planned to spend their year-end holidays. It was a splendid reception . . . one very fitting for the occasion.
In and Around Tokyo
•Hubert de Givenchy to show his latest collection. Did you know that Monsieur de Givenchy personally designed the suites at the Hilton International in Singapore?
• Prentiss Cobb Hale, San Francisco-based department store tycoon, stopped in Tokyo for a day on his way to China. I first met Prentiss and his wife at Mrs. Sadat’s Gala in Cairo a year ago.
• Persis Khambatta, the Bombay-born actress who appeared as Ilia in the film “Star Trek,” back in town for a few days. This time she was doing a commercial. Her hair’s growing back (she was bald for the film) and she’s working on some very interesting projects for the future.
The Japan-Israel Women’s Welfare Organization held its annual charity bazaar at the newly completed Jewish Community Cneter recently to aid the Research Institute of the Asahide School of Mentally impaired children and a similar organization in Isreal.