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第 四 十 七 巻 六 三 七 号   ト ウ キ ョ ウ ア メ リ カ ン ク ラ ブ  

Your stay in Tokyo should be as comfortable as your life back home. That’s why MORI LIVING serviced apartments put all the necessities of daily life at your fingertips. We even have our own fitness center at each location, just for you. With four locations in the heart of the city, easy access to Haneda and Narita airports, and a 24-hour bilingual concierge, MORI LIVING delivers the convenience of a luxury hotel with the privacy and comfort of a residence.

Be at home in Tokyo from day one. Short-term and long-term stays available, from one month.

Contact us for a private tour: 0120-52-1803




Welcome to family. Welcome to MORI LIVING.

イ ン タ ッ チ マ ガ ジ ン 二 〇 一 八 年 五 月 一 日 発 行  


毎 月 一 回 一 日 発 行  

平 成 三 年 十 二 月 二 十 日 第 三 種 郵 便 物 許 可 定 価 八 0 0 円 本 体 七 四 一 円

The Club commemorates nine decades of community M AY 2 0 1 8


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With the Club commemorating its 90th anniversary this month, a number of Members share their Club highlights.


Member and owner of Hakkaisan Jiro Nagumo unveils his brewery’s one-off sake for the Club’s birthday.

5 7 8






19 20 22



29 31









Raised in a noble Japanese family overseas, Member Naomi Mano talks bilingualism and identity.







Representative Governor Michael Alfant (2019)

Editor Nick Jones

First Vice President Jesse Green (2018)

Second Vice President Alok Rakyan (2019)

Assistant Editor Nick Narigon

Secretar y Machi Nemoto (2018)

Senior Designer Enrique Balducci

Treasurer Michael Benner (2018)

Designer Tania Vicedo

Governors John Flanagan (2019), Sandra Isaka (2018), Gregory Lyon (2018),

Production Administrator Yuko Shiroki

Chalice Markowitz (2019), Anthony Moore (2018), Kenji Ota (2019),


Sam Rogan (2019), Betsy Rogers (2019), Jerry Rosenberg (2018)

Anthony L Cala

Statutory Auditors Hiroshi Miyamasu (2019), Kazuakira Nakajima (2018)

CLUB COMMITTEE CHAIRS Compensation Anthony Moore Culture, Community & Enter tainment Miki Ohyama (John Flanagan)

ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER Business Operations Wayne Hunter Business Suppor t Lian Chang

Finance Paul Kuo (Michael Benner)


Food & Beverage Jim Weisser (Betsy Rogers)

Food & Beverage Nori Yamazaki

House Ray Klein (Jerry Rosenberg)

Recreation Susanna Yung

Human Resources Per Knudsen (Sam Rogan)

Member Services Jonathan Allen

Membership Steven Greenberg (Machi Nemoto)

Membership Mari Hori

Nominating Dieter Haberl (Alok Rakyan)

Finance Naoto Okutsu

Recreation Bryan Norton (Sandra Isaka)

Engineering Darryl Dudley

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Dean Rogers (Jesse Green)

Human Resources Shuji Hirakawa

Parentheses denote Board liaison.

SUBCOMMITTEES Community Relations Hideki Endo

Communications Shane Busato Information Technology Toby Lauer Revenue Management Suranga Hettige Don


Frederick Harris Galler y Yumiko Sai Golf Steven Doi


Squash Richard Kenny

Michael Alfant

Swim Nils Plett

John Durkin

Wine Terry White

Hideki Endo William Hagerty Alison Kanegae Photographers Yuuki Ide Ken Katsurayama Benjamin Parks Kayo Yamawaki



Explore the Club’s range of advertising possibilities by talking to

To arrange a tour of the facilities, contact the

the Club’s exclusive advertising agency, Custom Media.

Membership Office.

Custom Media President Robert Heldt

Tokyo American Club

Custom Media Publisher Simon Farrell

2-1-2 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8649


03-4540-7730 |

03-4588-0687 |

All prices referenced in INTOUCH include 8 percent consumption tax.




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TOKYO OFFICE Ryoshin Onarimon Bldg. 7F 6-17-15 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: +81 (0)3 6758 3535 For more information, please email:

Happy 90th Anniversary to Tokyo American Club

Congratulations to Tokyo American Club on your 90th Anniversary

Congratulations Tokyo American Club Staff and Members!

Congratulations to Tokyo American Club from New York and Tokyo!




he Club’s 90th anniversary presents an opportunity to reflect on my varied and lasting relationship with Japan and the US-Japan partnership writ large. My ties to Japan began decades ago. In the late ’80s, I lived and worked here as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. I experienced the Japan boom and the sheer energy generated by the country’s economic revolution. As a member of the cabinet of my good friend and Tennessee governor, Bill Haslam, I spent four years deepening ties with Japanese businesses. There are now more than 180 Japanese companies located in Tennessee, employing more than 40,000 Tennesseans. During my tenure, Tennessee became the top state for jobs created through foreign direct investment, and 60 percent of those were from Japan. When the president chose me to serve as ambassador to Japan, I was deeply honored to accept his offer, in large part because of the opportunity it would afford me to support US-Japan relations in a new way. For more than 70 years, the US and Japan have been partners in commerce, security and in bringing our nations’ peoples together. One of my priorities as ambassador is to deepen our two countries’ people-to-people bonds. While our trade and security cooperation is critical, the ties between our citizens undergird and sustain our relationship. These personal connections are where our Club makes a tremendous impact on US-Japan relations. For 90 years, the Club has been a hub for Members to forge lasting friendships. It is great to see the Club do so much to foster a sense of community. Because of the Club’s prominent role as an international gathering place, it is fitting that the Club should be Team USA’s base for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. As the epicenter for US athletes, families and sponsors to meet and relax, the Club will build on its role in deepening the friendship between the United States and Japan. Our athletes will be in good hands. From my days as a Member in the 1980s and ’90s to my return as honorary president of the Club, it has been rewarding to see our Club strengthen and grow in a manner that so meaningfully supports our most critical bilateral relationship. Congratulations to our Members, our professional team and our Board of Governors for leading us through an exceptional 90 years. My very best wishes as we embark on an even more promising future, together.


US Ambassador William Hagerty is the Club’s honorary president.




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n May 23, 1928, the founding 51 Members of the Club opened the doors of their first home. Nine decades later, I’m honored to serve as the Club’s representative governor during our anniversary year. Within seven years of launching its Yurakucho facility, the Club had outgrown the three-story space and moved down the road to Marunouchi, where it remained for 20 years. After World War II, the Club and its Members made several visionary decisions. In the 1950s, Japan’s foreign ministry approved the Club’s classification as a nonprofit organization, or shadan hojin, whose mission was to promote cultural exchange between the United States and Japan. At the same time, the shifting demographics of the membership inspired the Board of Governors to emphasize more family-oriented services over purely business-oriented ones. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Club decided to move from its longstanding home in Tokyo’s central business district. In 1954, the Club purchased the land we currently inhabit in what was then called Mamianacho, or badgers’ den. The decision to move was not undertaken lightly. In fact, it was passed by a single vote. Perhaps the promise of a swimming pool—the Club’s first—was a deciding factor. That one vote helped lay the foundation for generations of Members to create memories at Azabudai. The Azabudai Club underwent a number of renovations and extensions before being entirely rebuilt in the early 1970s. Many of us also remember the three-year “vacation” in Takanawa while our current building was under construction. The new Club was christened on January 18, 2011. Something you may not know is that our Club sits on the precise geographic center point of Japan. While there are several places that lay claim to this coveted title, a small tablet sits just outside the Club’s main entrance, marking the spot and giving us bragging rights—at least until proven otherwise. I can’t help but feel immense pride that through a series of monumental historical events, foresighted decisions and, most of all, Member engagement, the Club’s role as the business, social and cultural nexus of the US-Japan relationship is marked by our position right at the center of Japan itself. I hope to see you around the Club during our 90th anniversary month, including at the 1920s-themed party on May 25, or at other upcoming Club functions.


Michael Alfant is the Club’s representative governor.





Take It Outside

Change and Camaraderie



From rooftop blowouts to intimate drinks with a glittering Tokyo Tower backdrop, the Club’s alfresco dining spots allow Members to take full advantage of the longer, lighter days. Palm trees, drinks and seasonal barbecue delicacies beckon at the Splash! patio for Rooftop Mondays from May 21. Members can also rent this daytime café space and the Rainbow Café terrace for private, American-style barbecue parties with friends or colleagues or for lively kids’ parties. From May 14, take in Tokyo Tower twilight views at The Terrace (pictured), CHOP Steakhouse’s open-air space, while selecting American classics from the CHOP menu. “I use The Terrace for informal gatherings with the masters swim program [swimmers], and it provides a very unique setting for business use,” says Member Shane Predeek. “It is very underutilized, given the quality of the venue.” With additional outdoor dining venues at American Bar & Grill and Rainbow Café, the Club boasts a terrace for every occasion and cityscape view. Check the Club website for details on enjoying the great outdoors. NN




The seed of Tokyo American Club lies in a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. On May 24, 1924, US President Calvin Coolidge signed the Johnson–Reed Act. The law capped the number of immigrants from certain countries while banning immigration from other regions, such as Asia. More than 10,000 kilometers away, a number of Americans began to feel the effects of the American policy at the largely Japanese Tokyo Club, where they were members. “After the passage of the Immigration Act, the air became frigid in the Club towards Americans—and understandably so. Fifty-one American members of that Club decided that they would start an American Club,” wrote William Logan Jr in a 1973 issue of The Tokyo American, the Club’s monthly newsletter. Four years later, those founding Members opened the doors of their new home in Yurakucho. Membership, however, was not restricted to Americans. But unlike the broad range of amenities at today’s facility, the original Club primarily offered services for socializing. Since its foundation, the Club has moved, developed and renovated according to the needs of its membership. And while Members today may have memories of different facilities and even locations, what has remained constant is the sense of community and companionship Members feel for this storied institution. This is lucidly illustrated in the reflections of Members in “A Club for the Ages,” this month’s 90th anniversary cover story. “It’s a special community and I cherish it,” says Michael Van Zandt. Happy birthday, Tokyo American Club.




Kitchen Innovators

Secrets and Lies

Young Upstart

Author and photographer Andrea Fazzari dives into Tokyo’s ever-changing world of food in Tokyo New Wave. Through interviews and recipes, Fazzari highlights the next generation of charismatic, well-traveled chefs redefining Japanese cuisine. Other new Library titles include Things We Have in Common, Tasha Kavanagh’s tale of teenage obsession, and Before She Was Harriet, Lesa Cline-Ransome’s picture book about the life of American abolitionist Harriet Tubman. AK

Steven Spielberg’s movie The Post, the Oscar-nominated drama about The Washington Post’s decision to publish the top-secret Pentagon Papers, stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. Other new period movies at The Cellar include Hugh Jackman’s musical portrayal of circus visionary PT Barnum in The Greatest Showman and the Civil War-era Western Hostiles, starring Christian Bale. NN

The Loire Valley, the cradle of the French language and where Joan of Arc led troops to victory, is also home to a young generation of viticulturists like brothers Clément and Florian Berthier, whose sustainable practices produced their 2015 Giennois Blanc Terre de Marne. This smooth Sauvignon Blanc is available at The Cellar for ¥3,900 a bottle. NN




Floral Thank You

Spread the Word

Mom Pampering

Show your appreciation this Mother’s Day with an elegant bouquet of flowers by Bloom & Stripes. Order a regular-sized bouquet of pink or multicolored flora for ¥6,480 or a large pink bouquet for ¥9,180. You can also have it delivered to Mom for free at the Club’s Mother’s Day Grand Buffet on May 13 or elsewhere for a fee. Order at The Cellar between May 1 and 11. NJ

Every good turn deserves another. So if you introduce a friend or coworker who joins the Club, we’ ll repay the gesture with a ¥40,000 Club voucher. And with a new membership category aimed at expats on assignments of up to three years, now is the time to broadcast the benefits of joining. Visit the Membership Office to learn more. NJ

In this Mother’s Day month, The Spa is offering a two-hour treatment special to leave you looking and feeling refreshed. A 60-minute customized aromatherapy session is combined with a 60-minute, skin-boosting Power Brightening facial for just ¥22,400. And those looking for the perfect Mother’s Day present can enjoy 15 percent off all Spa gift certificates between May 1 and 14. NJ






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Epping-Forest Yacht & Country Club

Community Bonds


Some of America’s most powerful figures have been entertained in the elegant rooms of the Epping-Forest estate in Jacksonville, Florida. Built in 1926 as the family home of industrialist Alfred I du Pont, Epping-Forest has welcomed the likes of former President Gerald Ford and the Vanderbilt, Carnegie and Gould families over the years. Now home to Epping-Forest Yacht & Country Club, the club’s marina, located on the St Johns River, hosts cruises, sailing lessons and dock parties. Other facilities include six pools, a large fitness center, six tennis courts, restaurants and private event spaces. NJ  AQ UAT I C S


Taking On the Best

Member Ariana Hill represented the Club against Japan’s top junior swimmers at the 40th Junior Olympic Cup in March. After qualifying for the Tokyo competition in February, the 12-year-old led her 50-meter breaststroke race for the first 25 meters. Despite slipping on the wall at the turn, Hill, who has been a member of the Club’s Mudsharks swim team for three years, says it was a great experience. “I want to train harder,” she says. “It inspired me to push my limits and see what I can do.” The New Zealander finished 47th in her age group. NJ

Established this year, the Community Relations Committee is a subcommittee of the Culture, Community & Entertainment Committee. Its purpose is to deepen relations with community organizations, including the local neighborhood association. The committee works with the Azabu Fire Department to organize Disaster Awareness Day each year. This free, family-oriented event in September offers advice on preparing for a natural disaster through interactive exhibits like an earthquake simulator and smoke tent. The committee also supports a number of prominent groups in Tokyo’s international community through publicity or preferential Club facility rates for official events. The list of groups, which includes Tokyo English Life Line and the Tokyo International Players theater group, is carefully reviewed each year. One of the more visible examples of the committee’s work is the series of Club awards for outstanding achievement in various fields. Before candidates are approved by the Board of Governors, the committee diligently considers possible recipients. Recent honorees include former diplomat Ichiro Fujisaki, who received the Distinguished Achievement Award (see page 35), and Olympic freestyle wrestler Saori Yoshida, who collected the Sports Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony last year. Check the Community Relations page of the Club website for details of the committee’s work. Hideki Endo is chair of the Club’s Community Relations Committee.





Events in May 1

Early Dinner Special Kick back for an early dinner at American Bar & Grill with at least six friends or coworkers and enjoy 10 percent off all three dinner set menus, plus a complimentary cocktail or glass of bubbly or beer.  Weekdays  5–6:30pm  Reservations recommended


Summer Dress Code The Club helps Members cool down with the launch of its summer dress code, which runs through September 30.  Details online


T-Bone Tuesdays Enjoy a 5oz (140g) tenderloin on the house when you order a Certified Angus Beef T-bone steak. There’s only one place for dinner each Tuesday.  6–11pm  CHOP Steakhouse  Reservations recommended


Teen Bowling Bonanza Ages 13 to 18 tally their scores from two games this month to compete for prizes.  Bowling Center  ¥1,000 (excludes game fee)  Sign up at the Bowling Center



Gallery Reception: Akio Kurokawa Two centuries ago, Japanese artists adapted European glass-cutting techniques to emboss vases and sake glasses with intricate Japanese motifs. The distinct Edo kiriko style was born. Today, there are fewer than 100 practitioners of this designated traditional Japanese craft. Akio Kurokawa, who exhibits a collection of kiriko pieces at the Frederick Harris Gallery from May 1 to 21, creates intricately engraved glassware by hand. Using a diamond-tipped glass cutter in his Tokyo studio, the 77-year-old engraves exquisitely detailed basket-weave or fauna patterns on clear and colored glass. The Shinagawa native studied Edo kiriko from 15 years old and founded his atelier in 1993. While he has garnered many awards for his work, Kurokawa is more interested in sharing the beauty of the art form. “I make it a point to express myself,” he says. “I do not create the same design twice.” NN  6:30–8pm  Frederick Harris Gallery (B1 Formal Lobby)  Free  Open to adults, invitees and Members only

Story Time During this spring-themed session of stories and activities, participants ages 2–6 craft carp streamers in honor of the Boys’ Day holiday. Continues May 9. Attend any six of the story time sessions, collect a stamp and win a prize.  4–4:30pm  Children’s Library  Free



Dive into an assortment of treats prepared by the Club’s culinary craftspeople during the Golden Week holiday.

Meet fellow moms and toddlers at a fun, weekly get-together. Continues every Friday.

World Weekend Buffet

 11am–8:30pm  Rainbow Café  Adults: ¥3,220; juniors (ages 12–17): ¥2,050; children (ages 7–11): ¥1,500; kids (ages 3–6): ¥1,030; infants (2 & under): free

Mommy and Toddler Time

 2pm  Childcare Center  Free


Feast from the Deep Enjoy lobster steamed or grilled, half or whole for dinner each weekend through September.  5–9:30pm  American Bar & Grill and Traders’ Bar  ¥3,900 (whole); ¥2,000 (half)



First Friday: Cinco de Mayo “Cielito Lindo,” an ode to a beautiful chica from Mexico’s Sierra Morones mountains, is the favorite song of mariachi performer Alex Mejia, because of its catchy chorus that elicits crowd singalongs. Mejia, who performed “Remember Me” at the Tokyo première of the Pixar movie Coco, brings his Spanish guitar to the Winter Garden for the Club’s annual Cinco de Mayo bash. Besides lively music, the fiesta will feature salsa, cervezas and deliciosa cuisine from south of the border. “Cinco de Mayo is a day of great joy, where Mexican traditions are shared with the world,” says Mejia, a Mexico City native. “We are going to have a lot of fun.” NN


 6–8pm  Winter Garden and American Bar & Grill  ¥2,160 (¥2,700 after 12pm, May 8); guests: ¥4,320 (¥4,860 after 12pm, May 8)  Limit of five guests per membership  Sign up online




Ahead of Mother’s Day, moms and their little ones enjoy tea and sweet treats and arrange colorful bouquets under the guidance of expert florists from Bloom & Stripes.

The Women’s Group hosts a fun evening of (happy hour) drinks and chat. Open to all Members.

CHOP Steakhouse presents a starstudded triple feature every Friday, as the three lead parts of a porterhouse steak—a 21oz (600g) strip loin, 5oz (140g) tenderloin and bone marrow— are offered for one premier price.

Enchanting Afternoon

 2–4pm  Washington & Lincoln rooms  ¥6,480 per pair (guests: ¥7,780); ¥2,160 per additional child (guests: ¥2,590); infants (2 & under): free  Sign up online

6 & 20

Boy Scout Meeting Discover adventure and lifelong skills through the Club-sponsored Troop 51.

Cocktail Connections

 5–8pm  CHOP Bar

10 & 29

Squash Social Night Meet other Club squash enthusiasts and test yourself against Club pro Peter Amaglio and former national champ Hitoshi Ushiogi.  6:15pm  Squash Courts  Free


Movie Night


Mom and dad enjoy a date night while the kids take in a fun flick with pizza and popcorn.

Enjoy conversing in your second (or third) language in a welcoming environment.

 6–9pm  Beate Sirota Gordon & Haru Reischauer classrooms  ¥3,240 (guests & walk-ins: ¥3,900)  Ages 5–12  Sign up online

 5–7pm  Activity Room  Details online

Language Connections

 10am  CHOP Bar  Free  Sign up online

Perfect Porterhouse Night

 6pm  CHOP Steakhouse  ¥12,500  Details online


Cub Scout Meeting Elementary school kids are introduced to the world of Scouting through the Club-sponsored Pack 51.  7–9pm  Activity Room  Details online


New Member Orientation Learn about the Club while meeting other new Members. Contact the Membership Office to reserve your spot at least one week in advance. Again on May 23, from 6:30pm.  10am  Washington & Lincoln rooms






Mother’s Day Grand Buffet

favorite club,” says Member Lisa Cha. “We can acknowledge and honor my mother and me with great food, friends and photos that will remain in our hearts.” Flip to page 9 to find out how you can surprise Mom with a bouquet. NJ

 11am–2:30pm & 4:30–7pm  New York Ballroom  Adults (buffet only): ¥6,430; adults (buffet + twohour, all-you-can-drink beverage package for ages 20 & above): ¥8,100; juniors (ages 4–17): ¥3,130; infants (3 & under): free  Sign up online




Ages 2 to 6 create spring-themed arts and crafts.

Members elevate public speaking at an engaging, lunchtime workshop.

 11–11:30am  Children’s Library  Free

 12pm  CHOP Steakhouse  ¥2,380 (guests: ¥2,765)  Sign up online

Take in the thrill of thoroughbred horses thundering around the racetrack while enjoying fine food and the odd wager or two during an exclusive excursion to the royal enclosure of Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu.

Sunshine Story Time


World Weekend Buffet Rainbow Café honors moms with a tantalizing Mother’s Day spread.  11am–8:30pm  Rainbow Café  Adults: ¥3,220; juniors (ages 12–17): ¥2,050; children (ages 7–11): ¥1,500; kids (ages 3–6): ¥1,030; infants (2 & under): free


This Mother’s Day will see millions of Americans treating their moms to lavish meals in restaurants. According to the National Restaurant Association, the second Sunday in May is the most popular day of the year for dining out. It’s no surprise then that the Club’s own annual buffet for Mother’s Day draws such a large crowd. This month’s feast, more than a century a f t e r U S P r e s i d e n t Wo o d r o w Wilson established the first national Mother’s Day holiday, features an array of Japanese and Western dishes and tipples to satisfy every palate. “What I love most about the Mother’s Day Grand Buffet is that I can gather up my family and c e l e b rat e Mo t h e r ’s D ay at o u r

Toastmasters Luncheon


Moules Frites Special Pair Belgium’s comfort food combo of steamed mussels and crisp potatoes with a smooth wheat brew. Continues May 23–25.  11am–8:30pm  Café Med  ¥1,730 (Blue Moon ale: ¥760)  Details online

A Day at the Races

 8:45am–5:30pm  Members: ¥8,200 (guests: ¥9,800)  Sign up online


Family Night at CHOP Steakhouse



Book Lovers’ Group

CHOP chefs share their own version of home cooking for families of all ages at an evening of steaks and American classics.

Treat Mom to fun, laughs and two free games on the Bowling Center lanes.

Join fellow bibliophiles for casual literary chat.

 5pm  CHOP Steakhouse  Reservations recommended

 10am–9pm  Bowling Center  Adults: ¥670 per game; children: ¥560 per game

 11am–12:30pm & 5:30–7pm  The Cellar  Free  Details online



Seafood and Wine Pairing

Mother’s Day Bowling

DIY Comic Books Kids channel their favorite illustrators and artists to create comic books for the Library.  1–3pm  Jean Pearce Classroom  ¥2,160 (guests: ¥2,590)  Ages 6–14  Sign up online



Discover how the flavors of Mediterranean tuna tartare, steamed sea bream and crustaceous morsels from the deep are enhanced by paired wines from Japan, California and France.  5:30–6:30pm  CHOP Steakhouse  ¥5,000  Sign up online

A Very Royal Wedding Complement the magic of the televised marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with a regal menu of quintessentially British eats, drinks and bubbly at Traders’ Bar.  8pm  Traders’ Bar  Adults only  Details online



Talents of voice, piano and violin take to the stage for this annual, entertaining morning of music.

Clear your calendar, switch off your phone and head to the Club for 240 minutes of happy-hour bites, drinks and bliss.

Club Recital

 10am–12pm  Washington, Lincoln & Logan rooms  Adults: ¥1,940 (guests: ¥2,330); children (4–12 years): ¥760; infants (3 & under): free  Sign up online


Fun Japan Story Time Prepare for Japan’s rainy season with fun umbrella crafts during this Sunday session for ages 2 to 6.  2–2:30pm  Children’s Library  Free


Rooftop Mondays

 6–9pm  Splash!  Food and drink (two hours): ¥5,310 (food only: ¥3,150; Nightfall wine upgrade: ¥5,850)  Details online

 3–7pm  Winter Garden & Traders’ Bar  Details online


World Weekend Buffet East Asian favorites are sure to be a hit at this weekly, palatepleasing spread.  11am–8:30pm  Rainbow Café  Adults: ¥3,220; juniors (ages 12–17): ¥2,050; children (ages 7–11): ¥1,500; kids (ages 3–6): ¥1,030; infants (2 & under): free


Squash Clinic The Club’s squash pro Peter Amaglio introduces adults and kids to the ins and outs of this high-energy sport at free monthly sessions.  10–11am (adults) & 11am–12pm (ages 6–12)  Squash Court 1  Free  Sign up online



Find a treasure trove of gently used items at this popular Women’s Group shopping event.

Expand your horizons and your social circle at this monthly gathering. Contact the Women’s Group Office to organize free childcare.

Nearly New Sale

 10am–1:30pm  Manhattan II & III  Open to the public  Details online


Ramey Wine Dinner Find out why British wine critic Jancis Robinson enthused about this California winery’s offerings at an evening of exceptional food and wine.  7–9:30pm  CHOP Steakhouse  ¥15,000  Sign up online


Coffee Connections

 10:30am  CHOP Bar  Free


Summer Sportswear Sale Prepare for outdoor fun and exercise with 50 percent off sports apparel and footwear brands.  10am–7pm  Beate Sirota Gordon & Haru Reischauer classrooms  Details online

Salvation Army Charity Drive


Donate new or gently worn clothing and household goods to a worthy cause.

Uncover Tokyo’s quaint Yanaka district, home to awe-inspiring temples and museums and the final resting place of a number of historical Japanese figures.

 9am–11:30am & 2–3:30pm  B1 Parking Lot  Details online


Find an alfresco summer escape each Monday at the Club’s fifth-floor beer garden. Unwind with drinks, barbecued eats and cityscape views. Continues through October 1.

Premium Friday

Old Tokyo Stroll

 9am–12:30pm  Women’s Group members: ¥2,000 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥2,200)  Sign up online


Sweet Celebration Discovering how well a lemon curd- and thyme-flavored dark chocolate truffle pairs with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc isn’t a common feature of annual general meetings. But then the Women’s Group is no ordinary organization. At this distinctive annual general meeting, Sera Goto, the Club’s wine program director, guides attendees through three delectable pairings of wine and truffles, created by CHOP Steakhouse pâtissier Janina Berberich. “This will be a fun, interactive tasting that doesn’t require any experience in either wine or chocolate—just eager taste buds.” says Goto. The pair will also discuss their careers in their respective fields. The luncheon will also include the unveiling of the Women’s Group’s new board, a speech by Chrissy Hagerty, the wife of the US ambassador, and professional makeovers for two lucky ladies. NJ  11:30am–2pm  Manhattan I  Women’s Group members: ¥3,440 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥4,520)  Sign up online






Gallery Reception: Yoshito Arichi


Meet the Author: Jonathan Siegel

In The San Francisco Fallacy, Jonathan Siegel shares personal and insightful stories of entrepreneurship, from the failed dot-com venture launched in his Santa Barbara garage to his first success selling an online shopping cart for $250,000. Ahead of his C lub talk, the Member and angel inves tor of more than 40 startups addresses common entrepreneurial errors and misconceptions.

What personal blunder still makes you laugh? In one of my early ventures, we were discussing the design of our website. I read that a woman’s photo attracts attention. My partner, a dog lover, wanted to use a picture of a pug. We argued for weeks. In the meantime, the business completely failed.

It was an encounter with a fellow artist while living in the United States that inspired Yoshito Arichi to explore a new creative path. The accomplished printmaker was introduced to copper sculpture by eminent American artist Elliot Offner during his time as a visiting artist at Smith College, in Massachusetts, in 1986. From May 22 to June 11, Arichi displays a collection of his copperplate prints and bronze sculptures at the Frederick Harris Gallery. The 68-year-old says he is fascinated by the possibilities offered by bronze as a medium. Originally from Hiroshima, he completed a printmaking course at Britain’s Bradford College of Art and Design and exhibited his copperplate prints throughout the world before embarking on a fellowship in the US. Now a professor at Nihon University College of Art, he adheres a collage of gold and silver sheets to his award-winning prints to produce a metallic finish. “My art is the beauty lying between the real and the unreal,” he says. NN  6:30–8pm  Frederick Harris Gallery (B1 Formal Lobby)  Free  Open to adults, invitees and Members only




What baffling mistake do you see time and again? Unrelenting optimism. Only after I have done research and development, branding and production, which can take years of time and millions of dollars, would I learn whether there is a market for my product. I believe the root cause to be optimism.  7–8pm  Toko Shinoda & Yukiko Maki classrooms  ¥1,620 (guests: ¥1,940)  Sign up online

Celebrating 90 years

Coming Up June 2

All-Comers Swim Meet Swimmers of all ages and abilities test themselves against fellow Members at the Sky Pool’s annual swim competition.  9am–1:15pm  Sky Pool  ¥1,620  Ages 6 & above  Sign up online

June 2

Art Attack: Back to the Beach Sand, surf and seashells feature in an innovative, 3-D, mixed-media workshop for kids. Hosted by the professional artists at Artbar.  10:30am–12:30pm  Toko Shinoda & Yukiko Maki classrooms  ¥3,780 (guests & walk-ins: ¥4,540)  Sign up online

June 7–8 25

TAC 90th Anniversary Celebration Get set to party like it’s 1928 at the Club’s 90th birthday bash. This Roaring ’20s-themed celebration features live jazz from Kevin McHugh and friends, drinks, classic eats from the period and a range of stunning prizes. So grab those Ivy caps, flapper dresses and feather headbands and prepare to Charleston the night away. NJ  6–8pm  Winter Garden and American Bar & Grill  ¥1,928 (¥2,700 after 12pm, May 22); guests: ¥5,400 (¥5,940 after 12pm, May 22)  Limit of three guests per membership  Advance registration strongly recommended  Adults only  Dress: 1920s or standard dress code  Sign up online


90th Birthday Buffet A feast of Member favorites and American classics like prime rib, snow crab cake with rémoulade, New Orleans-style shrimp, hot dogs, apple pie and key lime pie.  11am–8:30pm  Rainbow Café  Adults: ¥3,220; juniors (ages 12–17): ¥2,050; children (ages 7–11): ¥1,500; kids (ages 3–6): ¥1,030; infants (2 & under): free


From Yurakucho to Azabudai A four-course spectacular in honor of the four Tokyo locations the Club has called home over the decades.

 5–8:30pm  Rainbow Café  Adults: ¥2,880; juniors (ages 12–17): ¥1,950; children (ages 7–11): ¥1,440; kids (ages 3–6): ¥930; infants (2 & under): free

June 11

Summer of Fun Register for another season of the Club’s activity-packed Summer Camp and All-Star Program sessions. Weekly sessions continue through August 24.

 Dinner  CHOP Steakhouse  ¥9,090  Reservations recommended


June 30

Classic Nights

Raise a glass to the Club with specially crafted cocktails for this 90th anniversary month.  CHOP Steakhouse, American Bar & Grill, Rainbow Café & Café Med  Details online

 Dinner  American Bar & Grill  ¥6,600  Reservations recommended

Roaring ’20s Libations

Celebrate the mouthwatering flavors from the home of the Komodo dragon. Dishes include satay, nasi goreng, fried bananas and mango pudding.

 Big Kids (ages 6–12 years)  9am–3pm  ¥54,000 (non-Members: ¥70,200) | Preschool A (ages 4–5 years)  Preschool B (ages 3–4 years)  9:15am–2:45pm  ¥48,600 (nonMembers: ¥64,800)  Details online

Enjoy a five-course culinary celebration of signature dishes from the Club’s past and present, including shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, prime rib and Black Forest cake. Wine options available.


Indonesian Night

Independence Day Celebration The Club celebrates America’s birthday with a traditional ceremony, family games and activities, classic American diner-style eats and a Manhattan-inspired cocktail party in the evening.  10am–4pm (family events) & 7–10pm (cocktail party)  Details online




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Sharing History

Born the same year as the Club, longtime Member Clara Yonemoto looks back on a life touched by war, travel and the Club. WORDS NICK NARIGON IMAGE YUUKI IDE


n the summer of 1928, when average temperatures were a full degree cooler, Yoshie “Clara” Yonemoto was born 5 kilometers north of the American Club’s inaugural Yurakucho quarters. Yonemoto, who turns 90 in August, joined the Club in 1968. “Everyone was so nice,” she says. “And the hot dogs were so good.” But the longtime Women’s Group member wasn’t particularly enamored with the original Azabudai facilities, which resembled “two army barracks,” or the swimming pool that seemed like nothing more than a water pump, according to Yonemoto.

at a small church in Osaka. My birthday is August 29, and August’s saint is Clara. When I moved to the US, Clara was an easy name for people to associate with.

What do you remember of your hometown?

How did you meet your husband?

My grandfather ran an ice-making company in Korea. When I was 2 years old, my family moved to Busan. I went to kindergarten, elementary school and girls’ school, graduating in 1945. Because of World War II, my father secured a ship and—with only a few personal belongings—sent me back to Japan.

How did you get the name Clara?

When I escaped from Busan, I moved to Osaka and attended a vocational school. I had no money and little food. I thought about joining the Catholic Church as a nun. [Instead,] I completed school and, in 1947, I was baptized

Clara Yonemoto

I went to the Osaka University College of Medicine as an auditing student and studied tuberculosis. I wanted to study in the US. I was told to study English first, and I ended up working in an army hospital as a pathology technician. My husband worked at the same lab as a blood analysis technician. Dr ED Peasley, our chief, was our matchmaker.

What is your strongest memory of the United States?

My husband worked at a pharmaceutical company and he opened a new office in Manhattan. During the six years in the US, my best memories were spending Thanksgiving at Dr Peasley’s

house [in North Carolina]. He was like a father to me.

Why did you join Tokyo American Club?

When we returned to Japan in 1968, the executive managing director of the pharmaceutical company recommended we join the Club. He knew my husband was studying American history. We had visited Amish and Shaker communities, California missions, Indian reservations and various historical sites.

What is your best Club memory?

The most enjoyable thing was the Christmas dinner with my husband, three sons and friends. As a Women’s Group member, I met many good friends. If you think about the American club, it is a peaceful, active community, with people from more than 50 countries. It may be said that Tokyo American Club is a small republic full of peace, cleanliness and kindness.





Premier sake brand Hakkaisan releases a commemorative sake for the Club’s 90th birthday. WORDS NICK JONES IMAGES ENRIQUE BALDUCCI


ake is much more than a drink in Japan. For hundreds of years, the rice-based alcohol has been an integral part of customs, sacred Shinto rituals and ceremonies. It has been used to mark seasons, pledge friendships, ward off evil spirits and celebrate milestones. In keeping with this tradition, Hakkaisan, a sake brewery in Niigata Prefecture, has produced a one-time sake for the Club’s 90th anniversary. Jiro Nagumo, owner of Hakkaisan, says it was an honor for the brewery to create a commemorative sake for the Club, particularly as this year marks




the 10th anniversary of relations between the two storied institutions. “Since we hosted the first Hakkaisan dinner at the Takanawa Club in 2008, we have continued our relationship with Tokyo American Club by inviting Members to our brewery in Niigata each year,” says Club Member Nagumo, 59. “It has allowed us to introduce Members to Hakkaisan’s approach to making sake.” The goal, Nagumo says, was to produce a completely new style of Hakkaisan sake that would appeal to an international audience. The result is a smooth, elegant junmai ginjo, made


Birthday Brew

from rice grains that have been milled down to half their size. Limited to just 2,000 bottles, the Club sake is produced from Niigata’s own koshi tanrei rice, which was developed by cross-breeding a Niigata sake rice with another superior sake rice grown in western Japan. According to aficionados, koshi tanrei leads to a drink that exudes depth, complexity and a light, refreshing aftertaste. Nagumo says he believes that his team of master brewers “succeeded in brewing a sake that is both savory and crisp, with a well-balanced taste.” “In this commemorative year of the Club’s founding, this special sake is the perfect Japanese way to celebrate the occasion,” says Member Miki Ohyama, who leads the Club tour to Hakkaisan each year. Members will be able to sample this exclusive brew when it is officially launched at the TAC 90th Anniversary Celebration, a 1920s-themed party in the Winter Garden, on May 25. Bottles, adorned with an illustration of the Azabudai Club by Tokyo-based

and Europe, helping sake penetrate foreign markets. For us, those markets are our new frontier.” “We are confident that Members will be able to enjoy the Club sake with different types of food and cuisine from all over the world,” Nagumo says. “In addition, we hope this special sake encourages Members to taste and enjoy more sake.”

artist Luis Mendo, will be on sale in The Cellar for ¥2,950. The sake will also be available by the tokkuri flask at CHOP Steakhouse, American Bar & Grill and Traders’ Bar. Established by Nagumo’s grandfather, Koichi Nagumo, in 1922 (six years before the Club was founded), Hakkaisan at first struggled to compete with the breweries of Kyoto and Kobe, Japan’s traditional sake production areas. “My grandfather was a very stubborn man who both loved his sake and a good challenge, but my father wasn’t really interested in sake brewing,” Nagumo told INTOUCH three years ago. “He was the last of six children and inherited his father’s business only be-

cause his brothers wanted to pursue different careers. For me, it was the same. I didn’t know what to do with my life, but I was familiar with the whole sake-brewing process because I had been there the whole time, so eventually I took up the job.” As domestic demand for sake declined in Japan’s post-economic bubble years, Nagumo realized that survival lay in the premium sake market. The brewery set about overhauling its methods while targeting markets abroad. Hakkaisan is now sold in more than 20 countries. “We started in New York about 30 year ago,” Nagumo said in 2015. “Since then, Japanese cuisine has become increasingly popular both in America

Members can preorder bottles of the Club anniversary sake at The Cellar.





A Club for the Ages As Tokyo American Club celebrates its 90th birthday this month, a number of Members reflect on what the Club means to them. WORDS NICK JONES AND NICK NARIGON

cause he wasn’t used to our lousy lane conditions! I came close to beating him. I thought it would be a wipeout, so I was pleasantly surprised. Standout dining experience. My favorite is the low country crab soup. I think it is a signature dish of the Club. I don’t know where else they make it. Today, you get the best crab soup I have ever had, and I have been eating it for 50 years. Favorite spot. I would say the old Stag Bar. It was spectacular. You had the long bar and the window and the garden. Of course, the company was great, too. In those days, you had people who lived here regularly for years and years, so you got to know each other pretty well.



n May 15, 1928, an American icon was born. Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse made his first appearance during a test screening in Hollywood. The cartoon failed to obtain distribution. Eight days later, on the other side of the Pacific, there was an unveiling of a very different kind. Fifty-one Americans opened the doors of the inaugural Tokyo American Club. “The American Club of Tokyo is being organized as an American Club and will have the atmosphere common to social clubs in the United States, but will be international in that persons of all nationalities will be eligible to membership,” noted The Japan Times & Mail newspaper in early May. Housed in the top three floors and the roof garden of the brand-new Iwamoto Building in Yurakucho, the Club boasted two restaurants, a bar, two lounges, a library, a ladies’ card room and such modern conveniences as a heating system and a telephone. Over the next few months, membership steadily grew. Ninety years later, the Club’s eight-story, Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed facility in Azabudai is home to more than 3,700 Members and their families. While the Club has transformed its amenities as it has transitioned from one facility and location to another over the years, its essence has remained the same.


It is a place where Members forge friendships and share experiences. This is highlighted in the thoughts of the following selection of Members, who joined the Club in seven different decades.

How membership has enhanced your life. I can’t dream of living without [the Club], because all my life I have been a Member. For me, coming over for a weekend brunch was a must. As I have moved farther and farther away from the Club, it is a nice little trip. I used to walk here, and now it takes me an hour by train, but I still enjoy it.

Daniel Kraslavsky Member since 1956

Randy Furudera

First impression of the Club. I loved it because it was somewhere you could get together with a lot of people you knew. We used to have a daily luncheon liar’s dice game. All the local characters were there. It’s a dangerous game. We used to play for drinks, but then somebody got greedy and said, “Let’s play for money.”

First impression of the Club. The Club in 1968 was several low buildings surrounding a pool. As an 8-year-old, it made me wonder if this was what a country club in the US looked like.

Outstanding Club memory. I used to be chairman of the bowling alley. I got to bowl against the world champion at the American Club bowling alley. It was quite interesting be-

Outstanding Club memory. It has to be the pool. I started swimming on the swim team when I was 8 years old, was a lifeguard as a teenager, the coach of the Mudsharks as a

Member since 1968

Azabudai Club, 1974

college student, and I still swim in the pool with my son today.

feeling, which I’ve come to appreciate more over the last few years.

Standout dining experience. Although CHOP today is awesome, I would have to say the simple TAC burger back in the 1960s. You must realize that you pretty much could not get a burger anywhere else in Tokyo back then, except maybe at the Hotel Okura for three times the price. My first hamburger was definitely at TAC.

Standout dining experience. The best experiences were at the old [Azabudai] Club—great casual dining in the old Mixed Grille and some really excellent dinners in the formal dining area downstairs, especially the holiday dinners and the Sunday brunches.

Favorite spot. Once again, the pool. The unimaginable luxury of swimming in a pool in central Tokyo was true in 1968 and is still true today. How membership has enhanced your life. Membership of the Club is truly a part of my life and a part of who I am today. I can only hope that my son grows up with similar experiences.

Joe Peters Member since 1979

First impression of the Club. We were impressed with the comfortable feeling of the Club and knew it would be a great place for the kids to meet up with their friends, for us to meet our friends and a great place to spend some good family times together. Outstanding Club memory. Seeing the new Club get completed. It didn’t have the feeling of the old clubby atmosphere, which we enjoyed, but it had a more vibrant and modern

Favorite spot. These days, it’s the Fitness Center. I’m there four or five times a week. And, of course, the second-floor meeting room for the TAC Toastmasters meetings. How membership has enhanced your life. I’m fortunate that the Club is close to my office. That makes it super easy to get to the Fitness Center. I probably wouldn’t go as often if I had to travel farther. And it’s a nice oasis for lunch sometimes, to get some space, enjoy patio dining when the weather is nice or just relax over lunch.




and the Fitness Center, not enough at the very comfortable Spa, and I love kicking back for a spare hour in the Library. If I have to pick one favorite, I’d go for Traders’ Bar, which works on many levels: meals, meetings and just some relaxing reading over a great beer.

Steve and Machiko Romaine Members since 1980

First impression of the Club. I first visited the Club while a student at ICU [International Christian University] in 1975, as guest of a family friend. I thought it was a place for middle-class business types, not for wannabe samurai philosophers like me. In 1980, I joined the Club as a middle-class business type, courtesy of my employer. Outstanding Club memory. Our outstanding memory has to be our wedding in the old Club lobby in July 1976—even before we were Members— thanks to my father-in-law’s membership. What made it even more special was that the Club had inadvertently double-booked our room, but management made up for it in spectacular fashion by building a white chapel in the middle of the old lobby. As a Member myself, serving on the Board under [former Club President] Dan Thomas during the trying times leading up to the decision to build the new building and then through the global financial crisis remains fixed in my memory. Standout dining experience. Two meals come to mind: dining at the Chef ’s Table [in CHOP Steakhouse] with John and Makiko Durkin, when he opened his prized bottle of 2000 Margaux, and hosting [wine critic] Jancis Robinson at the New York Bridge as chair of the Wine Committee. Favorite spot. So many places at the Club have a great feel in keeping with their purpose, which I think is evidence of a design that whilst striking and dramatic is also functional. I probably spend too much time at the 19th Hole




How membership has enhanced your life. The Club provides an instant community, along with access to activities in a way which is familiar to Americans: think kids’ sports activities and Scouting, adult social activities, lessons and classes, introductions to Japanese culture and so on. We’ve been able to live a fully Western social life while immersed in Japanese business life—pretty much the best of both worlds.

Michael Van Zandt Member since 1998

First impression of the Club. As a local-hire sales rep, fresh out of college in 1992, the Club was the pinnacle of success in my mind. While living in a six tatami-mat room and commuting on the Sobu Line from Makuharihongo in Chiba to Ochanomizu, I often wondered what it would be like to be an expat and about the associated access to the Club. Outstanding Club memory. One of the real standout moments for me was when I attended a blind wine tasting in about 1998. The Club, via that event, introduced me to a Shafer Hillside Select Cab [from California] and an outstanding Bordeaux from Margaux. This event likely created my love for wine. Little did I know I would be repatriated to Sonoma County less than two years later.


Standout dining experience. Without a doubt, it would have to be when my parents spent Christmas with us in Tokyo and stayed in the Guest Studios. We had cocktails in their room with my wife and two daughters and then leisurely made our way to the Chef ’s Table in CHOP. As my birthday is also Christmas Day, one could imagine that such a dining experience had many others to compete with, but the open-kitchen environment, fantastic cuisine and time spent with grandparents and grandchildren was something really special. Favorite spot. The Spa. It is just such a perfect experience that combines expert therapists, fantastic aromatherapies, a calm and inviting atmosphere and a very welcoming staff. How membership has enhanced your life. The Club has enhanced my life in Tokyo tremendously. I love going to the Club to experience the camaraderie of interacting with both staff and Members. It’s a special community and I cherish it. It makes me feel like Norm from [the TV show] “Cheers,” you know, where everybody knows your name.

Jeffrey Shimamoto Member since 2007

First impression of the Club. When I joined, we were located at Takanawa on the historic Mitsubishi Kaitokaku grounds. With the facilities being so small and compact, the Club was always buzzing with activity. My first impression was that everyone there seemed very upbeat and friendly, likely because only the diehard Members made the trek out to the outer reaches of Shinagawa, and because there was anticipation of greater things to come in Azabudai. Outstanding Club memory. My fondest memories involve my kids, who grew up attending everything from the Christmas buffet to the Bon Odori festival. I remember my kids holding hands and sliding down the inflatable slide at Bon Odori in 2010. At that moment, I felt so appreciative that my kids could enjoy their little slice of Americana in Tokyo. Standout dining experience. For a short period after moving back to Azabudai, the Club had a restaurant called Flatiron, which served molecular gastronomic dishes, such as mousse in a tube and exploding golf balls. Paying homage to Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli, the ingredients and cooking techniques matched any Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. More recently, T-Bone Tuesdays at CHOP has become my favorite dining experience. Favorite spot. My favorite spot is right outside the door of the Chef ’s Table looking up at Tokyo Tower. We are so fortunate to be located in the most prime real estate in the greatest city in the world. And within steps from that view is award-winning dining, impeccable

service and unmatched facilities for networking, relaxing and enjoying life’s finer things.

new and nobody speaks English, so the Club gave us some respite from the cultural overload.

How membership has enhanced your life. I could not imagine life in Tokyo without the Club. From the moment I walk in the door, I am greeted with “Welcome back, Mr Shimamoto.” And when I walk out the door, I am fulfilled, by great friends, great food and great service. All of my experiences have been top-notch and have prepared me for a more comfortable life in my home away from home.

Outstanding Club memory. I always wanted to learn how to paint with oils. I was really happy to see [the Women’s Group painting] class. It was a couple weeks in and one of the advanced students showed her painting of this gorgeous Buddha on a pink lotus. My jaw dropped, and I asked her how long she had been taking the class. She told me two years. Carolyn [Dong, the instructor,] told me I would be able to do the same in two years. She is such a great instructor that I did it. I brought in a photo of my son on the beach in Waikiki and I painted that. With her help, it came out really well. An artist friend told me it was really good. He is the same guy who signed me to his gallery this last year.

Rajul Shah Member since 2011

First impression of the Club. The current Club had just opened. It was a good place for us to hang out, as we were getting used to living in Tokyo. The first few weeks can be overwhelming, even for kids. Everything’s


Standout dining experience. I remember the Flatiron grill at CHOP. That was my first exposure to molecular dining, where they changed the composition of the food in front of you. It was really cool. They gave us this needle to inject the sauce right into the chicken or meat ourselves. It was different and the food was great. Favorite Club spot. My husband and I both love Traders’ Bar. For me, it’s the closest thing to the pubs and bars back home, where you can just go and watch sports with nice people. It’s got good bar food, too. How membership has enhanced your life. Tokyo is our first international assignment, so, at first, the Club was a nice place to regroup from the cultural immersion. Now we come here and meet with our network of friends. It’s nice. TAC 90TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION  May 25  6–8pm  Winter Garden and American Bar & Grill  ¥1,928 (¥2,700 after 12pm, May 22); guests: ¥5,400 (¥5,940 after 12pm, May 22)  Limit of three guests per membership  Adults only  Dress: 1920s or standard dress code  Sign up online





Milestones & Moments 1951 The Club is designated as a shadan hojin, allowing it to operate as a nonprofit organization.

May 23, 1928 After each contributing $500, 51 Americans in Tokyo establish the American Club, which opens in the top three floors of the new Iwamoto Building in Yurakucho.

May 1945 Approximately 100 Club Members hold a reunion at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. US Army war hero and former Member Maxwell Taylor is guest of honor.

1935 After seven years, the Club outgrows its facilities and moves to Naka 10 No 8 Building in Marunouchi, the center of Tokyo’s expat social life.

1952 Naim Hillel and Jack M Dinkel obtain an option to purchase the Club’s current Azabudai property from the South Manchuria Railway Company. The motion to purchase the property for ¥30 million passes by one vote.

December 8, 1941 Japan declares war on the United States. All properties of the Club are expropriated by the Japanese government.

December 1954 July 4, 1949 Allied supreme commander General Douglas MacArthur helps the Club regain possession of its Marunouchi facility and reopen with 140 Members.




After the discovery of a large bomb shelter delays construction, the Club’s original Azabudai facilities, built at the cost of approximately $100,000, open.

December 9, 1974 With droves of American businessmen arriving in Tokyo, larger Club facilities are needed. The new, $10 million building opens with a gala ceremony.

November 21, 1976 The Club’s final 1928 charter Member, architect Antonin Raymond, who helped Frank Lloyd Wright design the Imperial Hotel, passes away.

January 18, 2011 The Club’s eight-story Azabudai facility, designed by lauded American architectural firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, opens with a formal ceremony in the Winter Garden.

May 9, 2007 A groundbreaking ceremony for the Club’s temporary home in Takanawa is held. The Club moves to the Shinagawa area while the new Azabudai facility is constructed. MAY



Custom Media wishes Tokyo American Club and all its members a

happy 90th anniversary!

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Naomi Mano

Dual Identity

Member Naomi Mano on the challenges and rewards of harmonizing her Japanese and American backgrounds. IMAGE ENRIQUE BALDUCCI


y first memories of the Club were when I was about 10. We were expats in Hawaii back then. I was born in LA, and my father’s six-month assignment to Hawaii turned into 10 years. We were members of a reciprocal club in Hawaii and would use the Club when we came back to Tokyo. We finally joined when we returned to Japan in the early ’80s. Back in those days, there were fewer Japanese at the Club, so my father could entertain Japanese celebrities here and they would not be recognized. Keiko Matsuzaka, who was a big actress at the time, loved coming here. Because I was born and raised in the United States, this was the only place

where we could actually do our Christmas dinner, Easter buffet and Mother’s Day. We followed Japanese traditions, but on top of that we followed some American customs that we had picked up over the years. The Club was a special place for us because we were sort of a mix of a Japanese and American family. We were thrilled to have this second home to come to and relax. To be a bilingual and bicultural person, I think you always have to have a root, and my parents were very strict about [reinforcing] the roots of our family as an old, traditional, Japanese family. It was hard to maintain my Japanese in an American environment [in Hawaii], but my parents were determined to emphasize our Japanese background.

I went to Japanese school in Hawaii every Saturday, but it was really tough. Trying to fully learn two languages is very difficult. For me, I was still continuing my Japanese education through college [in Japan] and maybe even in the first two years of my [first job]. I went to high school at the International School of the Sacred Heart [in Tokyo] then the university. It was a very interesting environment. You had Japanese people who didn’t quite speak Japanese and blond-haired, blue-eyed kids who had been in Japan so long and spoke perfect Japanese. Hawaii is pretty diverse, but this was what you would call international. I realized that no matter which country you were from, we felt the same way, had similar things that bothered us and, if we went to Hiroshima, would all want peace in the world. I am very comfortable with my identity now. I feel I am not just American or just Japanese. I am rooted in Japan but with an American background. I would say I’m more international now. Since I understand the importance of traditions and values, I have no problem adapting to different cultures. The world is smaller now and our children are going to be much more international. Slowly but surely, we are seeing more [mixed-race] children in Japan. My British husband and I have two boys, and I feel my duty is to inspire and prepare them to be even more global, to become global leaders. I try to inspire all children I come into contact with, as well as when mentoring my staff, to find their own standing in life and to think beyond boundaries. As told to INTOUCH’s Nick Jones.




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Japan Alps

Adventure Leadership Program


9 Night / 10 Day option also available ¥221,000*

Kids Only 9 Night / 10 Day


option also availab le


July 2nd - July 11th 2018 July 16th - July 25th 2018 July 28 - August 6th 2018 th

Ages 13-17

Family Discovery 1 Night / 2 Days

th July 14th - July 15 2018

30 People Max

30 People Max

Hakuba, Nagano, Japan

Hakuba, Nagano, Japan Teens Only


Kids + Family

Ages 3-12 & Adults


¥30,000 Child ¥25,000 ¥99,000

Family Package (2 adult & 2 kids)

*Early Bird Discount: book before April 30th 2018 and receive a discount of ¥5,000. Brother & Sister Discount: If you book a 2nd member of a family, you’ll receive a discount of ¥3,000. Friend Referral discount: Refer a friend to receive a discount of ¥3,000. Prices do not include transportation fee. Prices are inclusive of taxes.

Evergreen Outdoor Center is a long-established, professional outdoor adventure company providing outdoor education programs for

We have been running summer camps and year-round

international schools, families and groups within Japan and from abroad.

that your son or daughter are being provided the very best

programs in Hakuba, Nagano, Japan for over 16 years. With our fun and friendly camp leaders and a long history of providing outdoor camps for children, you can rest assured camp experiences in the safety of professionals. All campers regardless of age will have the chance to feel challenged in a

Get in touch. Book today! 0261-72-5150

fun learning environment in the beauty of the Japanese Alps with native English speaking camp leaders.



Up Close



Gregory & Libby Suzanne Bertoni QVC Japan, Inc.

Hirotsugu & Hiroko Furukawa Dow Chemical Japan Ltd.

Robert Clark Walt Disney Attractions Japan Ltd.

Kazuhide Harada Mediocritas, Inc.

Andrew & Lindsey Gallo Prudential Holdings of Japan, Inc.

Chiori & Hidehito Inagaki Deutsche Securities, Inc.

Ronald Quada & Kaaren Kunze ZS Associates

Hiroyasu & Chisato Ishido Slack Japan K.K.

Keigo Shibagaki & Yuliya Zadvorskaya Shibagaki Clinic Jiyugaoka

Hitoshi Kiuchi PricewaterhouseCoopers Aarata LLC


Kazuo & Noriko Oguri Nagoya Toyopet Corporation

Matthew & Maki Crabbe ECN Hospitality K.K.

Reo & Nariko Shiina Ogilvy & Mather Japan GK


Hisanaga Tanimura HT Holdings Co., Ltd.

Paul Lirette Glaxo SmithKline K.K.

Daiki & Haruko Yokoyama Caleffi Japan



Lu Dong & Hideko Yamamoto Nihonbishoku K.K.

Saim & Anum Yasin Philip Morris Japan Ltd.



Denis Lencou-Bareme Eramet International Tokyo Branch

Ali & Melike Uysal Philip Morris Japan Ltd.



Nikhil & Venetia Arora Hewlett-Packard Japan Ltd.

James & Tamara Moore The Montessori School of Tokyo

US A |

Dinh Lai & Kerri Fulginiti

Metlife Insurance K.K.

“This is our first overseas assignment and we couldn’t be more excited about this new adventure for our family. We know the Club will be an invaluable resource, and we are eager to get involved in the vibrant community and wide range of social and cultural activities. Our children have already taken full advantage of the Rainbow Café buffet and the Sky Pool. While we have every intention to explore Tokyo and beyond, we are so happy to be Members and to know we have a second home at TAC.” (l–r) Dinh Lai, Kerri Fulginiti and Kieu, Daxton and Kamden Lai

IRELAND John & Tashima Byrne Ascent Global Partners K.K.

Departures US A |

Tyler & Barbara Marciniak

Astellas Pharma, Inc.

Yoshiyuki Aikawa

Steve Snell

Katie Dreke

Hideki Yano

Masako Saito

Connections tokyoamericanclub




“Before we arrived just a few months ago, all of our advance planning was supported by an incredible community of expatriates who’d been here before us—and joining the Club was one of their top recommendations. Now that we’re here in Tokyo, we’re looking forward to joining a new community of like-minded friends and professionals from all over the world. If you see us and our three girls around—most likely near the Sky Pool—we hope you’ll say hello.” (l–r) Lillian, Tyler, Charlotte, Barbara and Alice Marciniak





Honest Broker Trust is paramount for property investment in Japan


ccording to the Mortgage Rescue Association, the number of consultations with property investors facing challenges with their investments is increasing rapidly. More than 60 percent of inquirers fail to realize a return on investment (ROI) and file for voluntary bankruptcy. Many in this group made bad bets based on advice from brokers who were far from transparent about the risks. In fact, such investors were often victims of agents concerned more with off-loading properties than being forthcoming and providing long-term ROI. And it is not just Japanese investors who are experiencing such sharp practice in the industry. Foreign investors, most of whom are not experienced in the market, often feel taken advantage of or under-informed, Tsuyoshi Hikichi, managing director of Tokyo-based Axios Management KK, told INTOUCH. SHARP PRACTICE Hikichi’s sentiments are shared by others. “I’m in the process of buying property, and one thing I have found is that real estate investing here is extremely confusing,” said a long-term Japan resident who is an aspiring investor from Australia.

“I sat in a five-hour meeting with an agent and had to go through all these terms. The question that came to my mind was: ‘Why?’ I remember thinking: ‘One, I don’t understand the language; and two, the process is very cumbersome.’” Fortunately for this investor, his Japanese spouse was able to help him through the sometimes laborious and often obscure process. Another investor, a long-term resident from the United States, shared an equally unsatisfactory experience. “I once spoke to a real estate company that told me, ‘You can buy this place and easily raise the rent.’ He effectively rushed me through the process in an effort to get me to sign only to find out that raising the rent after the tenant has signed the lease is difficult.” TRUST AND TRANSPARENCY Both investors felt shortchanged; but their stories are not unusual. Indeed, the number of such stories appears to be rising. For Hikichi, this means finding transparent, professional, and trustworthy asset managers who are bilingual and focus on long-term returns can be a challenge in Japan. Axios was established to fill this gap. Through their asset management strategies—including exacting due diligence, property management,

Tsuyoshi Hikichi, managing director

market research, valuation, and a focus on long-term ROI—the company has become the go-to property investment partner for expats. “For someone like me—a foreign investor in Tokyo that is in need of someone who can connect me to local property managers—there just aren’t that many companies out there like Axios,” said the American investor. ABOVE AND BEYOND Axios’s portfolio of residential properties includes individual units and whole buildings. What sets the company apart is a focus on honesty and a desire to go above and beyond. “Sometimes I have to tell clients that the rent is too high, and that is why there are empty units in the property. But I also go out of my way to find solutions for them. Or, when my foreign friends ask for advice, I tell them exactly what I think. I’m always direct and honest with them.”

From initial consultation to tenant exit procedures, Axios Management offers its clients a full range of customized property management services, focusing on both maximizing owners’ ROI and protecting their interests. Trust, Transparency, Professionalism




+81-3-6447-7701 | |

C O M M U N I T Y | VO I C E



early every international Member faces the decision eventually. After 30 years and a long career in Tokyo, I finally had to choose whether to return home or move on to another opportunity. I arrived in Japan as a military officer in 1982. Having studied Japanese from an early age, I had an advantage over many of my peers. After serving with the United States Seventh Fleet, I made the leap into business during the height of Japan’s booming economy in the late 1980s. Starting out as a nobody at a processed food company, I used my professional experience, local knowledge and contacts nurtured through the American Chamber of Commerce to rise rapidly through the company ranks. I eventually joined Japan’s business elite, serving on the boards of some of Japan’s most prestigious financial and commercial firms. The pinnacle of my professional career was last year’s Tokyo Stock Exchange listing of the company at which I was an investor and board member. Undoubtedly, my four years as

the Club’s representative governor were another highlight of my time in Tokyo. Over the years, I had noticed that very few foreign Members retired in Japan. The number of non-Japanese Senior Members living full-time here is low. While tax in its various forms might be a factor in this phenomenon, the fact is many of us dream of returning to warmer climes, familiar surroundings and a big house. Tokyo has changed dramatically for the better over the past three decades. The long run of deflation transformed it from the world’s most expensive city into a bargain destination for tourists. Rents are lower than Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and London, while living costs are more reasonable and quality of life is high. Private schools are half the cost of Manhattan. The city is boringly safe and crime is a rounding error. Public transit runs on time and Haneda Airport, now accessible from the Club in less than 30 minutes, has almost half a million flights a year. It’s easy to take for granted the utility of a safe, efficient and convenient city.

The resilience of Tokyo never fails to amaze me. Despite the bursting of Japan’s economic bubble, the global financial crisis and 2011’s terrifying earthquake, the city is at its most livable now. The only disappointment is that Tokyo is still not the cosmopolitan city it deserves to be. New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore all are more vibrantly diverse and draw more international residents. One of the best decisions I made while in Japan was to join the Club. Even after decades of living in Tokyo and speaking the language fluently, the number of true local friends I have is small. As part of the Club community, however, I have formed many lifelong friendships. It was exceedingly hard to say goodbye to my adopted home after so many years. It was an intensely emotional decision to make. I may have turned in my gaijin card, but I have kept my Club membership card. So it’s not so much sayonara as aloha. John Durkin is a former Club representative governor.




Craftsmanship to last a lifetime Exquisite handmade knives since 1923.

10am–6pm | 03-3841-4205 | Shop online or visit our Kappabashi store, just 8 minutes from Tawaramachi Station. Free engraving service available.

Home at last, Tokyo living at its best.





March 14 Honoring a Diplomat

Ichiro Fujisaki was presented with the Club’s Distinguished Achievement Award for a prodigious diplomatic career that included four years as Japanese ambassador to the United States. IMAGES YUUKI IDE




Appreciate kabuki theatre in English with free audio and live subtitles


Friday, June 15 2:30pm—4:25pm and 6:30pm—8:25pm *End times are estimates and could vary


Learn how to appreciate kabuki in English with the guidance of a kabuki actor and a TV personality PART 2

Uncover the mystery of Renjishi A kabuki masterpiece depicting the strength of the relationship between a father and son, featuring powerful dance performances Sacred lions played by Nakamura Matagoro as the spirit of the parent and Nakamura Kasho as the spirit of the child

Reserve tickets from May 6 TEL. 0570 07 9900 | 03 3230 3000

Price 1st Grade ¥4,000 / 2nd Grade ¥1,800

Lines open 10:00am–6:00pm in Japanese and English

* A special discount price is available for students and disabled guests. Please inquire at the Box Office for details.


April 1 Family Spring Festival

Club families celebrated the Easter holiday and arrival of spring with games, handicrafts, snaps with the Easter Bunny and a petting zoo of fluffy, whiskered and shelled creatures. IMAGES YUUKI IDE




Your great escape Vacation at the Club with a family getaway package of one night’s Guest Studio stay, breakfast, bowling and unlimited DVD rentals.

ŠJeff Goldberg/ESTO

yume zen spa surf oasis den for two

Rates and reser vations: 03-4588-0381 |


April 6 First Friday: Hanami Night

Members bid farewell to another fleeting cherry blossom season at a lively evening of geisha entertainment and games, traditional Japanese dance and premium sake. IMAGES YUUKI IDE








Walking and Sketching in Sumida

Atsuko Ishikawa (pictured left)

Lenore Reese

Flowing for 27 kilometers through Tokyo, the Sumida River has been depicted in artworks for centuries. The waterway passes close to popular tourist areas like Asakusa and the city’s newest landmark, Tokyo Skytree. This trip will give students the chance to explore this eastern part of Tokyo while sketching sights and scenes along the way.

Atsuko Ishikawa first studied travel sketching from Australian artist Erin Hill in 2011. After joining her mentor’s tutor program, Ishikawa assisted in classes and later taught teenagers and adult beginners. She has been teaching students in Tokyo since 2016. She believes that travel sketching enhances the experience of exploring new places and cultures.

“Atsuko teaches scale, shading, perspective and how to approach sketching by breaking it down into parts. She is patient and gives helpful tips that move you forward. She arranges to meet in great, little cafés throughout the city, which is a great chance to discover a neighborhood or see an area you know with fresh eyes.”

WALKING AND SKETCHING IN SUMIDA  May 17  10am–1pm  ¥4,320  Sign up online by May 10





Creative Strolls

Communicating with people, creating the city

Homat Viscount in Akasaka

Kara Blanc in Minami-Azabu

Homat Virginia in Minami-Azabu

We develop communities by building and nurturing neighborhoods for a sustainable future. Our Homat Series has been offering the best in modern and stylish rentals in top locations for the international community since 1965.

From high-rises with sweeping panoramic views, such as Homat Viscount in Akasaka, to low-rise designs in quiet and green neighborhoods such as Kara Blanc in Minami-azabu, we continue to develop luxury rentals for expat families living and working in the center of Tokyo.

第 四 十 七 巻 六 三 七 号   ト ウ キ ョ ウ ア メ リ カ ン ク ラ ブ  

Your stay in Tokyo should be as comfortable as your life back home. That’s why MORI LIVING serviced apartments put all the necessities of daily life at your fingertips. We even have our own fitness center at each location, just for you. With four locations in the heart of the city, easy access to Haneda and Narita airports, and a 24-hour bilingual concierge, MORI LIVING delivers the convenience of a luxury hotel with the privacy and comfort of a residence.

Be at home in Tokyo from day one. Short-term and long-term stays available, from one month.

Contact us for a private tour: 0120-52-1803




Welcome to family. Welcome to MORI LIVING.

イ ン タ ッ チ マ ガ ジ ン 二 〇 一 八 年 五 月 一 日 発 行  


毎 月 一 回 一 日 発 行  

平 成 三 年 十 二 月 二 十 日 第 三 種 郵 便 物 許 可 定 価 八 0 0 円 本 体 七 四 一 円

The Club commemorates nine decades of community M AY 2 0 1 8


May 2018 INTOUCH Magazine  

Tokyo American Club's Monthly Member Magazine

May 2018 INTOUCH Magazine  

Tokyo American Club's Monthly Member Magazine