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spa facilities that will help you look and feel your best. If you’re looking for long-term lease properties with a full range of services in convenient locations around Tokyo, it’s time to upgrade to MORI LIVING.

www.moriliving.com

APRIL 2021

INTOUCH

at one of the city’s hottest restaurants. On-site gym and

TOKYO AMERIC AN CLUB

An English-speaking concierge who helps you book a table

毎月一回一日発行  第四十七巻六七ニ号 トウキョウアメリカンクラブ  インタッチマガジン二〇二一年四月一日発行  平成三年十二月二十日第三種郵便物許可定価八00円 本体七四一円

Time for an upgrade Time for MORI LIVING

TOKYO AMERIC AN CLUB

Space Quest Club speaker and astrophysicist Elizabeth Tasker talks exoplanets and galactic exploration APRIL 2021

H I T T I N G T H E TA RG E T + E A RT H AC T I V IS M + S Q UA S H D OY E N


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.

www.nskre.co.jp/english

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.


Contents 20 ON A MISSION

KAYO YAMAWAKI

FOLLOW US

Set to speak at the Club this month, astrophysicist and science evangelist Elizabeth Tasker explains the importance of sharing space exploration with the world.

5

LE ADER SHIP

6

DIGE ST

10

AGENDA

KAYO YAMAWAKI

INDEPTH

15

S H O OT I N G

16

E N V I RO N M E N T

17

AQ UAT I C S

20

16 INSPIRED TO ACT

TAKING AIM

After years of sweating his way through various sports, Member Toru Abe says he’s most at home when he’s looking down the sights.

FO CU S

COMMUNITY

25

WELLNE SS

27

REGISTER

29

VOICE

31

HIGHLIGHTS

32

PURSUIT

YUUKI IDE

With climate change high on the list of concerns for so many, high schooler Sage Humphrey is putting his all into change for the better.

15

COVER IMAGE OF ELIZABETH TASKER BY KAYO YAMAWAKI

APRIL  | 1


TOKYO AMERIC AN CLUB

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

INTOUCH

Representative Governor Michael Benner (2022)

Editor Nick Jones

First Vice President Sam Rogan (2022)

editor@tac-club.org

Second Vice President Trista Bridges Bivens (2022)

Assistant Editor Owen Ziegler

Secretar y Jeffrey Behr (2021)

Designer Kohji Shiiki

Treasurer Kenji Ota (2021)

Designer Clara Garcia

Governors Michael Alfant (2021), John Flanagan (2021), Anthony Moore (2022),

Production Administrator Yuko Shiroki

Tetsutaro Muraki (2022), Catherine Ohura (2021), Alok Rakyan (2021)

GENERAL MANAGER

Heidi Regent (2021), Dean R Rogers (2022), Christina Siegel (2022)

Anthony L Cala

Statutor y Auditors Koichi Komoda (2022), Paul Kuo (2021) Parentheses denote term limit.

ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGERS Business Operations Wayne Hunter

CLUB COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Business Suppor t Lian Chang

Compensation Anthony Moore Culture, Community & Enter tainment Miki Ohyama (Jeffrey Behr)

DIRECTORS

Finance Joe Moscato (Kenji Ota)

Recreation Susanna Yung

Food & Beverage Kristina Wright (Sam Rogan)

Member Services Jonathan Allen

House Douglas Hymas (Catherine Ohura)

Membership Mari Hori

Human Resources John Y Sasaki (Tetsutaro Muraki)

Food & Beverage Suranga Hettige Don

Membership Risa Dimacali (Trista Bridges Bivens)

Finance Naoto Okutsu

Nominating Ray Klein

Facilities Toby Lauer

Recreation Nils Plett (Christina Siegel)

Communications Shane Busato

Risk Control Justin Keyes (John Flanagan)

Tokyo American Club Nihonbashi

TAC Digital Member-Engagement Task Force Jeffrey Daggett

Nori Yamazaki

TAC Nihonbashi Task Force Ginger Griggs (Alok Rakyan)

CONTRIBUTORS

TAC Sustainability Task Force Trista Bridges Bivens

Writers

Tokyo 2020 Olympic David Hackett (Dean R Rogers)

Joan Bailey

Parentheses denote Board liaison.

Tim Hornyak

SUBCOMMITTEES

Myiesha Jain

Community Relations Hideki Endo

Anthony Moore

Frederick Harris Gallery JoAnn Yoneyama

Michael Van Zandt

Golf Charles Postles

Photographers

Squash Richard Kenny

Donna Beeman

Swim Agnes Ouellette

Johnnie Collins

TAC Talk Simon Farrell

Jeff Goldberg Yuuki Ide

Wine & Beverage Michael Van Zandt

Steve Morin Kayo Yamawaki Illustrator Tania Vicedo

ADVERTISING IN INTOUCH

JOINING TOKYO AMERICAN CLUB

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

To arrange a tour of the facilities,

the Club’s exclusive advertising agency, Custom Media.

contact the Membership Office.

Custom Media President Robert Heldt

Tokyo American Club

Custom Media Publisher Simon Farrell

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

adver tising@tac-club.org

membership@tac-club.org

03-4540-7730 | www.custom-media.com

03-4588-0687 | www.tokyoamericanclub.org

All prices referenced in INTOUCH exclude consumption tax.

2 | INTOUCH


Find financial peace of mind Retirement and education solutions Regular and lump-sum investments Properties in Japan and abroad Life and health insurance US citizen solutions UK pension transfers

Investment advice for expats and Japanese nationals Contact us, fellow Club members, for a free consultation at your place, ours or the Club. tac@argentumwealth.com | 03-5549-9099 www.argentumwealth.com Licensed in Japan and established in 2007


Discover Japanese Art Treasures at Décor Every year TAC produces the Décor event, first for Members and later to allow others the chance to find a wide range of items to beautify their homes. This year, the Tolman Collection, an American-owned gallery, is proud to introduce you to four Kyoto-based American artists— Clif Karhu, Daniel Kelly, Joel Stewart and Brian Williams— whose works represent various facets of Japanese culture. Their art is collected and cherished around the world. In addition, other works by old masters Mori Yoshitoshi and Saito Kiyoshi will be shown. These wonderful pieces are framed, and can be taken home and displayed right away, providing you with immediate visual pleasure and serving as long-term reminders of your time spent in Japan. As a very special gesture, the Tolman Collection will also offer for sale lithographs by Toko Shinoda, their star artist for some 40 years, who recently passed away at the age of 107. You are welcome to come and see the pieces, which are all for sale and will be removed as they are sold.

The Tolman Collection at Décor New York Ballroom and Brooklyn rooms Members only: Sunday, April 25, 6pm–8:30pm Open to the public: Monday, April 26, 10am–7:30pm

The Tolman Collection • 2-2-18 Shiba Daimon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0012 • tolmantokyo.com


LEADERSHIP

T

Your Club Needs You WORDS ANTHONY MOORE IMAGE KAYO YAMAWAKI

hirty years ago, social media didn’t exist. But in a short period of time, the various online social networks have become a dominant and inescapable part of life and a tool used by all ages across the world. With names as well-known as Hollywood stars, the platforms connect families and friends, help users find like-minded communities and even love, and offer us eight-second video clips by strangers that keep us giggling for hours. By far the buzziest social-networking startup recently has been the audio chat-based service Clubhouse, which is emerging as an online version of the traditional European salon. Unlike many in my circle, I have yet to spend any time on the site. Call me old-fashioned (or more like a dinosaur to my kids), but my preferred “clubhouse” is the brick-and-mortar one in Azabudai—and now Nihonbashi—and the strong sense of community engendered within. Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk may not be a Member (would he even make it past our interview reception?), but the Club provides endless opportunities for real, in-person engagement and stimulation, whether it’s running into an old friend in the hallway, striking up a conversation with someone at Traders’ or enjoying a natter with a playing partner between games of squash. This kind of interaction has become even more important over the last year. Thanks to the Club’s robust safety and sanitation measures, our Azabudai home must be considered one of the safest spaces in Tokyo. Our recently opened Nihonbashi facility offers Members another exceptional spot in which to connect with fellow Members and a new segment of our community. Now, perhaps more than ever, we need our community to make the most of our wonderful facilities, services and programs. With our finances hit hard by the pandemic, the Club faces a challenging 2021. Dozens of Members have volunteered their time and expertise to support alternative revenue-generating initiatives to help bring in more, much-needed income. Even if you’re not directly involved in these projects, you can still make a difference by spending more time (and money!) at the Club. Make use of the Club’s hybrid meeting offer or new, all-inclusive packages for small celebrations. Swap your home office for CHOP Lounge or a Guest Studio. If you can’t make it to the Club for a meal, use the new delivery service. If we all find ways to use the Club even more, we can ensure our own clubhouse and community emerge stronger.

“NOW, PERHAPS MORE THAN EVER, WE NEED OUR COMMUNITY TO MAKE THE MOST OF OUR WONDERFUL FACILITIES, SERVICES AND PROGRAMS.”

Anthony Moore is a Club governor.

APRIL | 5


D I G E ST E D I TO R

New Beginnings

Ain’t It the Truth?

YUUKI IDE

NIHONBASHI

After more than two years of planning, Tokyo American Club Nihonbashi opened its doors to Members on March 31. Located in the heart of the Nihonbashi district, the Club’s first-ever satellite hub features dining and fitness facilities in a contemporary, stylish setting. While all adult Azabudai Club Members have access to the weekday retreat in Nihonbashi Muromachi Mitsui Tower, the work of growing the Nihonbashi Club’s own community is just getting started. Ginger Griggs, who headed the TAC Nihonbashi Task Force, encourages Members to spread the word “about how great the facility is and the exciting opportunity to become a part of our thriving, international community.” Visit nihonbashi.tokyoamericanclub.org to learn more. NJ

CHARIT Y

Community Care

(l–r) Lina Raffone, Grace Lee, Kenneth and Cheryl Maynor, Tomomi Fujita and Donna Beeman

After a year of uncertainty and strain for so many, members of the Connections charities committee had the opportunity to experience a glimmer of hope last month. During a visit to the Salvation Army’s sprawling facilities in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, Members could see how the Club group’s ¥1 million donation last year is helping vulnerable children separated from their families. The funds were used to furnish a house to provide a more home-like environment for the children, supported by professional staff. Connections will donate another ¥1 million to the project this year. NJ

6 | INTOUCH

In 1980, a writer from Science Digest visited the southern California home of Charles K Johnson. The first launch of NASA’s space shuttle was less than a year away. But Johnson was having none of it. “You can’t orbit a flat earth. The space shuttle is a joke, and a very ludicrous joke,” he told the reporter. As president of the International Flat Earth Society, Johnson was defiant in his belief that the Earth was a flat disc, with the North Pole at the center and an ice wall at the disc’s outer boundary. It’s easy to dismiss such ideas as those of a fringe element, but the theory has gained traction in recent years, largely due to the Internet and, more specifically, YouTube. In fact, a 2018 flat-Earth conference in Denver drew more than 600 people. Asheley Landrum, a psychologist from Texas Tech University, points out that this stance is really about “distrusting authorities and institutions.” Yesterday’s moon landing conspiracy theorists are today’s climate change and vaccine skeptics. In a celebration of science and mainstream beliefs, this issue of INTOUCH features interviews with astrophysicist and science communicator Elizabeth Tasker (page 20), who will speak at this month’s TAC Talk, and 15-year-old Member Sage Humphrey (page 16) about his motivations to help the Club become greener and more sustainable. And that’s the truth.


L I B R A RY

From the Shelves parture from my usual whodunit books, and I never would have read them had they not been assigned. They opened up my mind to new ideas and prompted me to explore different genres. What genre do you most enjoy? Whether it’s mystery, fantasy, historical fiction or nonfiction, I simply enjoy books that are thought-provoking, inspiring or moving.

What inspired your love of books? My fifth-grade teacher assigned a number of thought-provoking books to my reading group. Among the titles were Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Anne Frank’s diary and Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, which remains one of my all-time favorites. These captivating titles were a huge de-

When were you last unable to put down a book? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, a science-fiction story about a young boy sent to battle school who manages to maintain his humanity in the face of bullying, obstacles and moral dilemmas. I read this book years ago, but recently picked it up again and found it just as riveting as the first time.

KAYO YAMAWAKI

of these two clever detectives as they pieced together clues, and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of trying to solve the cases before the end.

What are you reading now? Book 8 of Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Recently, I have been reading some young adult fiction books alongside my daughters. They are easy reads, which work well given my time constraints. The stories are fun and engaging and touch upon many social issues, and they are a great way for me to have meaningful conversations with my children.

Tracy Kao

Over the years, studies have shown that the benefits of reading run from expanded vocabularies to increased brain connectivity and even reduced stress. And as Library regular Tracy Kao will attest, books can lead to tighter family bonds, too. What was your favorite childhood book? I have always loved reading mysteries and detective stories, and my favorite series in elementary school were Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew. I enjoyed following the adventures

S PA

Hours of Bliss

JEFF GOLDBERG

As Mother Nature shakes off the last vestiges of winter, The Spa has an April offer to help you do the same. Take 20 percent off two hours of revitalizing treatments designed to get you back in shape for spring. Book an hour of any Dermalogica facial treatment, specially engineered to refresh and revive sensitive skin, and combine it with a 60-minute, fullbody rejuvenating therapy that melts away tension and boosts circulation through combinations of deep-tissue stimulation and soothing heat, minerals and aromas. OZ

APRIL | 7


THE ULTIMATE URBAN CHALLENGE

It’s Our 1st! As we celebrate our first anniversary, all of us at GoConnect would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our Partners and Members. Reaching this milestone wouldn’t have been possible without you. GoConnect has made tremendous strides in a year, but we’re just getting started! We look forward to continuing to support our Partners by helping them get the word out about their products and services, and to serve our Members by providing them with a platform to find amazing deals and one-of-a-kind experiences.

For a limited time this month, we’ll be hosting a special Gratitude Week campaign with even deeper discounts than usual. Don’t miss out!

Visit www.GoConnect.jp for more details


D I G E ST DINING

WINE

Have It Your Way

Tasting Red WORDS MICHAEL VAN ZANDT

KAYO YAMAWAKI

IMAGE KAYO YAMAWAKI

Tokyo is chockful of Michelin-starred restaurants, but good luck requesting their notoriously stubborn chefs to adapt their menus to your tastes. You won’t find such a challenge having your cravings fulfilled at Rainbow Café’s brand-new build-your-own sandwich and salad bars. Featuring a mouthwatering assortment of options for half (¥880) and regular (¥1,550) sandwiches, plus small (¥980) and large (¥1,400) salad bowls, these customizable meals make it easier to stick to a niche diet or treat yourself to something special. A toasted BLT with honey mustard on ciabatta? You got it. A Caesar salad with walnuts and shrimp? Done. Anything in between? Rainbow Café can make it happen. OZ SKY POOL

JOHNNIE COLLINS

Olympic Efforts

(l–r) Hiromitsu Miyamoto, Agnes Ouellette, Dominic Henderson and Thomas Whitson

The opening ceremony of the rescheduled Summer Games may still be a few months off, but the Club has already seen its first gold-medal feats of the year. In February’s Tokyo Bay Swim Challenge, which saw Members select and swim set distances in the Sky Pool, five swimmers claimed the top spots in their divisions. Out of 22 competitors, Hiromitsu Miyamoto and Thomas Whitson (20 kilometers), Ryo Noda (42 kilometers) and Dominic Henderson and Agnes Ouellette (73 kilometers) swam away with bragging rights and dining vouchers for their triumphant efforts. OZ

Everyone loves a good deal, particularly when it’s as well-balanced as my first Cellar recommendation. McManis’ 2018 Cabernet isn’t your typical, super-powerful, fruit-forward California red. It is bold, but has middle-of-theroad tannins and acidity, with a little pepper. If I hadn’t known, I would have guessed a Bordeaux blend. Available for ¥1,800. Philippe Pacalet’s 2017 Aux Argillas Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru (¥13,450) is a quintessential Pinot Noir from Burgundy. With its gentle aromas, nice red fruit balance and earthy tones, it’s a wine whose power turns to elegance as it opens up. Pairs well with smoked duck, glazed pork or game. My third Cellar selection is another American red, this time from Washington State’s Columbia Valley. You first notice the dark fruit nose of Hedges Family Estate’s 2013 Red Mountain (¥3,900), but not in an overpowering way. Its flavors are less fruity, with tones of chocolate and mocha. This Bordeaux-style “meritage” blend’s complexity is likely a combination of the Pacific Northwest environment and the magic of bringing together several Bordeaux varietals (primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, plus a bit of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec). Michael Van Zandt is chair of the Club’s Wine & Beverage Committee. For the month of April, receive a 10 percent discount on purchases of at least three bottles of any of these recommended Cellar wines.

APRIL | 9


AG E N DA

Events in April Since some events may be postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, please check the Club website for the most up-to-date information.

1

Gallery Exhibition: Yoshitoku Dolls Founded in 1711, Tokyo’s Yoshitoku doll company stages a Club gallery exhibition of its traditionally elegant figurines and a selection of such delightfully modern creations as Darth Vader and Batman.  Through April 27  Frederick Harris Gallery  Details online

1

Camp Discovery

 Through April 9  9am–3pm (Camp Plus: 3–5pm)  ¥45,000 (¥10,000 per day); Camp Plus: ¥3,600 per day  Members only  Sign up online

2

Friday Night Live The Club’s regular, end-of-the-week mixer continues in April with the music of local saxophonist Marcus Pittman.  6–7:30pm  Winter Garden  ¥2,500 (walk-ins: ¥3,500)  Members only  Sign up online 

2–4

Easter Catering Let the Club bring the fresh flavors of spring to you with a succulent spread of glazed ham, rosemary- and thyme-roasted chicken and other holiday classics.  Details online

3

Introduction to Qigong Discover the wellness benefits of the ancient Chinese practice of qigong with Shaolin disciple Aaron Bridge. Learn more on page 32.  9:30–10:30am & 10:45–11:45am  Activity Room  Free  Ages 16 & above  Details online

10 | INTOUCH

YUUKI IDE

The spring camp fun continues with sessions of arts and crafts, music and sports for ages 3 to 9.

4

Family Spring Festival No matter how dark and dreary the winter, people across the globe celebrate the dawn of warm, sunny weather with as much cheer and goodwill as they can muster. At the Club, that means the annual Family Spring Festival, where young revelers gather to collect candies, pose for family snaps at the photo booth and embrace the spirit of the season with a multitude of spring-inspired games. OZ  9am–3:45pm  Gymnasium  Adults: free; children: ¥2,500 (walk-ins: ¥3,000)  Sign up online SPRING RITES

• Songkran Festival, Thailand On the spring equinox in Bangkok, revelers soak one another with hoses and water blasters in a wet-and-wild celebration of the season.

• Holi, India For a full day and night, celebrants in northern India throw brightly colored powders to signify the triumph of good over evil in the Hindu religion. • Cheese Rolling, UK From the top of a grassy English hill, dozens of competitors chase a wheel of cheese down the steep slope. Origins are uncertain, but injuries are guaranteed. • Cimburijada, Bosnia Instead of hunting for eggs, residents of one Bosnian village gather to scramble and fry eggs in gigantic communal pots by the town’s river. • Sechseläuten, Switzerland To ensure that spring has sprung, Zurich’s citizens build and burn an effigy of a snowman, timing it to predict how wet a summer they can expect.


3

Youth Toastmasters Club Youngsters pick up tips on public speaking, debating and holding an audience’s attention from members of the Club’s own Toastmasters group.    2–3pm  Brooklyn rooms  ¥1,000  Ages 10–18  Sign up online 

3

Aquatic Easter Fun Club kids celebrate the holiday with an aquatic-themed egg hunt and prizes while splashing their way into spring. STEVE MORIN

 3–5:30pm  Sky Pool  ¥1,800  Ages 5 & above  Members only  Sign up online

4

Easter Celebration

18

Spring has officially sprung. Gather the family for a lunch of seasonal favorites that is sure to shake off the winter cobwebs.  11am–3pm  New York Ballroom  Adults (food only): ¥6,800; adults (food + two-hour, all-you-candrink beverage package for ages 20 & above): ¥9,600 (wine upgrade: ¥10,100); juniors (ages 13–17): ¥4,400; infants (ages 3 & under): free  Sign up online

5

Culture Connections Mingle with friends and new acquaintances while learning about the culture and cuisine of one another’s home countries.  10am  Connections members only  Details online 

6

March Madness Final Live on Traders’ screens, US men’s college basketball’s climactic tournament culminates in a one-anddone showdown to see which school will cut down the nets.  10am  Traders’ Bar  Details online

7 & 21

Toastmasters Luncheon Learn how to engage a room and feel comfortable at the podium with the help of the Club’s welcoming band of Toastmasters.  12–1:30pm  Manhattan III (April 7); Washington & Lincoln rooms (April 21)  ¥2,200 (online: ¥500)  Sign up online

Earth Day Festival “The climate crisis has already been solved,” youth activist Greta Thunberg declared during her 2018 TED Talk. “We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is wake up and change.” With the UN Climate Change Conference set for November this year, many scientists say it’s the world’s last chance to agree on a plan to avoid catastrophe. While governments debate targets, it’s the small, individual steps taken by the larger population that can also lead to a better world for all. That’s the message of this year’s Earth Day Festival, where Members can gather to pick up tips and swap ideas on how to lead a greener, more carbon-light life. Featuring green-inspired crafts for budding environmentalists,

appearances from eco-friendly companies based in Japan and a lecture from urban gardening guru Jon Walsh (pictured), this forum of practical advice and climateconscious lessons might not turn you into an eco-warrior in a day, but it may just give you the tools you need to start down that path. And those Members between the ages of 14 and 20 keen to do more will be invited to join the Club’s relaunched Youth Council, with its mission to put the Club on a greener and more sustainable footing. Turn to page 16 to read more about one young environmentally engaged Member. OZ  10am–12pm & 1–3pm  Gymnasium  ¥2,000 (includes eco-friendly tote)  Sign up online

7

7

Youngsters pick up a lifelong love of reading at this inspiring session of children’s tales from the shelves of the Children’s Library. Runs every Wednesday.  

Veteran public speaker and trainer Greg Story shares his top tips for how to keep an audience engaged and your message memorable.

Wednesday Storytime

 4–4:30pm  Children’s Library  Free  Ages 2–6  Details online

TAC Talk: Greg Story

 7–8pm  Washington & Lincoln rooms  ¥1,500 (virtual attendance: ¥500)  Copies of Japan Sales Mastery available (¥1,900)  Sign up online

APRIL  | 1 1


AG E N DA

25–26 Décor

YUUKI IDE

After a stay-at-home year staring at the walls and pondering interior makeover possibilities, it’s time to give your abode a spring transformation. Connections’ annual agora of home-enhancement ideas returns to help you in your redecorating quest. Bringing together purveyors of furnishings, fine art and handcrafted adornments in one handy location, Décor is also a destination for gift shoppers and those looking to buy on a whim. The two-day sale welcomes the return, among others, of Reverse Gems, Christina Sawka’s sea-smoothened glass and pottery, the exquisite wood furniture and kitchenware of Matthew Shewchuk’s Turning Tokyo and the vibrant interior pieces of Alex Morrow’s Turquoise Port.

While a fixture of Tokyo’s art world, The Tolman Collection, with its stunning selection of contemporary Japanese prints, makes its Décor debut. All net proceeds from the sale, which opens with a Members-only evening,

 April 25: 6–8:30pm (Members only)  April 26: 10am–7:30pm (open to the public)  New York Ballroom  Ages 12 & above  Details online

9

10

15

Test your wits at the Library’s newest (tech-free) tabletop game club. Enjoy an afternoon of strategy with old-school boardgames like Risk, Catan, D&D and chess. Continues every second Friday.

Creative kids craft their own comic book with the Library’s Drew Damron. The fun and stories continue every second Saturday of the month.

The Club’s bibliophile brigade weighs the historical implications of the Mongol empire through a discussion of Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

 5–6:30pm  Teen Connection  ¥1,000  Recommended for ages 12–18  Sign up online

 11:30am–1:30pm  Teen Connection  ¥2,000  Ages 6–14  Sign up online 

 11am–12:30pm  Vista  Free  Details online

9–11

13

Cocktail Connections

15

Mask up and mingle with friends over happy-hour drinks during this monthly mixer.

Make your vote count at the biannual selection of the Club’s next seasonal red and white wines sourced from some of Europe’s best vineyards.

Board Together

Zwiesel Sale This three-day event features discounts of up to 70 percent on a range of beautifully crafted, premium glassware from Zwiesel, including wineglasses, tumblers and decanters.  10:30am–7pm  Beate Sirota Gordon and Haru Reischauer classrooms  Details online

9, 16 & 23

Winter Garden Melodies Unwind at the end of the workweek with the soothing tunes of pianists Yuka Murata (April 9), Karen Kamikawa (April 16) and Kaori Hayashi (April 23).  6–9pm  Winter Garden  Details online

12 | INTOUCH

DIY Comic Book Club

 5–7pm  Traders’ Bar  Connections members only  Details online

13

will be donated to Connectionssupported charities. NJ

Book Lovers’ Group

Seasonal Wine Taste-Off

 6:30–8pm  New York Ballroom  ¥2,500  Adults only  Sign up online

Azabudai Anniversary Spectacular

15

Celebrate the 10th birthday of the Club’s Azabudai home at an evening of festivities featuring traditional Japanese entertainment and outstanding raffle prizes.

After all that sampling and voting at the Seasonal Wine Taste-Off, Members are invited to sit down to a dinner of poached shrimp, chicken roulade and braised pork cheek with Club seasonal pours.

 7–8:30pm  New York Ballroom  Adults only  Details online

Seasonal Wine Dinner

 8–10pm  New York Ballroom  ¥8,000  Members only  Sign up online 


16–18

A. Testoni Sale Enjoy up to 70 percent off a range of beautifully crafted men’s and women’s bags and shoes, including sneakers, dress shoes, pumps, sandals and mules from the luxury Italian brand.  10:30am–7pm  Beate Sirota Gordon and Haru Reischauer classrooms  Details online

17

Show & Tell Jamboree Ages 6 to 9 build confidence while learning how to wow a crowd at this afternoon of games, music and selfesteem-boosting activities.   2–3pm  Brooklyn rooms  ¥1,000  Sign up online 

21

TAC Talk: Elizabeth Tasker Astrophysicist Elizabeth Tasker invites the audience to ponder the presence of planets light-years away. Turn to page 20 for more insight into her journey to the limits of space.  7–8pm  Washington & Lincoln rooms  ¥1,500 (online: ¥500)  Copies of The Planet Factory available for purchase for ¥1,560  Sign up online

22

Pommery Dinner Since its 19th-century origins, Pommery has built a reputation for champagne excellence. Hosted by the French brand’s Ken Moroi, this exclusive dinner features four killer pours.  6:30–9pm  New York Ballroom  ¥16,000 (guests: ¥19,200)  Limit: one guest per membership  Sign up online

24

Saturday Storytime Kids jump into the weekend with tales of magic and adventure from the shelves of the Children’s Library.  11:30am–12pm  Children’s Library  Free  Details online  

26

Coffee Connections Embrace the possibilities of spring by meeting old friends and making new ones at this monthly get-together of Connections members.  10am  Connections members only  Details online

28

Gallery Exhibition: Junichiro Baba Working with a material as delicate as glass requires almost as much know-how as it does experience. With the kiln raging at more than 2,500 degrees, the tiniest error can undo hours of work through microscopic imperfections in the final product. For glassblower Junichiro Baba (pictured), walking that fine line is a fact of life in his workshop. Educated and exhibited in both Japan and the United States, Baba and his intricately designed glass sculptures

capture the malleability of this fragile medium in ways both familiar and unforeseen. OZ Moment I realized I wanted to become an artist. When I realized how to surrender myself to triggers of inspiration. What I would tell my 20-year-old self. What’s impossible now will be possible soon. But what you can do now might not be possible in the future. My perfect creative environment. A workshop where I can not only teach students, but where we all can learn from one other. Artist, living or dead, I’d most like to share a meal with. Ken Carder [American glassblower] and Paul McCartney.  Through May 31  Frederick Harris Gallery  Artworks available for purchase through The Cellar  Details online

APRIL  | 13


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I N D E P T H | S H O OT I N G

Taking Aim

When Tokyo hosts the Olympics this summer, Member Toru Abe will have his eye on one particular sport. WORDS TIM HORNYAK IMAGE YUUKI IDE

W

hen he craves his favorite meat dish, Toru Abe doesn’t visit his neighborhood butcher. He travels more than 800 kilometers to the wilds of Hokkaido and stalks his prey, rifle in hand. Abe hunts deer to feed his family, an uncommon way of putting food on the table in the modern metropolis of Tokyo. But Abe is no child of Japan’s backcountry. A Club Member for 13 years, he worked in the finance industry before taking over the family gravestone sales business from his father. His interest in hunting and trap shooting was triggered by Tokyo’s successful 2013 bid to host the (pandemic-postponed) 2020 Olympics. “I’ve done marathons and triathlons, but these sports become more difficult as one gets older,” says Abe, 47. “I was looking for something that com-

Toru Abe

bines mental and physical strength. When the Tokyo Olympics were announced, I was inspired by the images of skeet and trap shooting and decided to try it. I also love cooking, and I love venison and game, so hunting was a natural choice.” Japan has some of the strictest gun regulations in the world. Pistols, for instance, are banned for all but the police and members of the country’s defense forces. Such stringent laws have meant that Japan has recorded fewer than 10 fatalities from firearms annually in recent years. Those keen to take up the sport must undergo not only police background checks, including interviews and questions about their motives and mental health, but firearms safety classes and training sessions. When Abe applied for a firearms license, police also questioned his neighbors and associates about his character. The process took about a year. But the controls don’t end there. The police conduct regular home inspections of Abe’s weapons, ammunition and storage locker. Since receiving his license, Abe has entered a number of competitions for trap shooting, an Olympic discipline where participants have to shoot clay pigeons launched into the air. Train-

ing with his double-barreled, 12-gauge Italian shotgun at ranges in Chiba Prefecture, Abe quickly developed his skills and is now ranked as a B-class shooter (A-class shooters include national champions and Olympians). “I love the moment when I’m concentrating on the clay pigeon,” says Abe. “I hold my breath, empty my mind of thoughts, aim and squeeze the trigger. It’s very much a mental sport.” Abe puts his marksmanship training to work when he hunts duck in Chiba or Ibaraki or deer in Hokkaido. But it’s not a young person’s pursuit in Japan. With a rapidly graying population, the average age of hunters is 68. Abe has learned a lot from this coterie of experienced outdoorsmen, some of whom share hunting tips online. In Hokkaido, Abe always hunts with a guide—a wise precaution in bear country—and usually bags two or three deer, which he butchers himself. The meat helps to feed his family for half a year. “Of course, I don’t like killing any animals, but I hunt only for food,” says Abe. “I’ve tried just about every sport, including baseball and soccer, but I love being in the great outdoors, experiencing the seasons and learning about wildlife. For me, clay shooting is the king of sports and hunting is a part of me.”

APRIL  | 15


I N D E P T H | E N V I RO N M E N T

Inspired to Act

Ahead of the Club’s Earth Day Festival, one Member explains why the need for environmental action is now. WORDS JOAN BAILEY IMAGE KAYO YAMAWAKI

I

t was a school science project that opened Sage Humphrey’s eyes. The fifth-grade challenge was to create an electrical device to help solve a problem. Sage decided to make a miniature, solar-powered car. A little under 30 centimeters in length, the vehicle worked like a charm and earned Sage a good grade. “I also really enjoyed it,” he says. “I’m a creative person, so I really liked figuring out how to connect the wires and drawing up the plans.” The assignment also provided a window on an issue far bigger than the appeal of the car’s cool design. While researching the concept behind the solar-powered engine, the American learned about renewable energy and the environmental consequences of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. He was alarmed by what he discovered.

16 | INTOUCH

“People need to understand that climate change is a real issue and we need to take action now rather than later,” says Sage, whose family joined the Club 10 years ago. “Kids like me are the next generation. If we don’t do anything to stop this, we are only going to make a bigger problem.” Stirred by what he had learned, Sage, 15, delved deeper into the subject of climate change and the science behind how to stop, or at least slow, global warming. After finding out about the carbon dioxide emissions associated with producing beef, he convinced his family to give up the meat. “Beef is a hidden issue that most people don’t even think about,” he says. “Learning about it showed me that beef can increase carbon dioxide and the rate of deforestation.” Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Sage’s curiosity and determination to instigate change remain un-

Sage Humphrey

dimmed. Last year, he approached Club leaders to share his thoughts on making the Club a greener and more sustainable institution. As a member of the relaunched Youth Council, Sage hopes to collaborate with the newly established TAC Sustainability Task Force, headed by Club governor Trista Bridges Bivens. His first order of business is to recruit other youth to work together on initiatives and to help with events, just as he is doing with this month’s Earth Day Festival. Sage knows that when it comes to effecting change, he needs to lead by example. “Action has a real impact,” he says. “You’re helping your community by saying this is an issue we have to do something about. I feel the Club is realizing that climate change is an issue and they are making simple changes like paper straws and the ice box as an alternative air conditioner to start. They are trying to build momentum, and I believe that will increase as the Youth Council and the task force show others how they can be sustainable and helpful.” EARTH DAY FESTIVAL  April 18  10am–12pm & 1–3pm  Gymnasium  ¥2,000  Sign up online  Youth Council: contact rec. concierge@tac-club.org for details


I N D E P T H | AQ UAT I C S

(l–r) Charlotte, Thomas and James Weeks

Making Waves

Three siblings moving through the Club’s swim development program prove it doesn’t take gold-medal ability to have Olympic-level fun. WORDS OWEN ZIEGLER IMAGE KAYO YAMAWAKI

A

s a top-flight aquatics facility, it’s only natural that the Sky Pool attracts its fair share of accomplished swimmers. While a world champion is yet to emerge from its lanes, only time will tell whether there’s something special in the water. Until then, the Club’s youngest splishers and splashers are doing just fine perfecting the basics at their own pace. “My dad used to take me swimming

when I was 7 months old,” says young Member Charlotte Weeks. “I used to love it.” Alongside her younger brothers, 8-year-old James and 5-year-old Thomas, Charlotte, 10, is one of many Club youngsters who are finding themselves almost as comfortable in the Sky Pool as they are on dry land. All three are currently enrolled in the kids’ swim development program, which guides young tadpoles through the early stag-

es of water confidence to stroke development and, eventually, competition. “Benni [Edriansyah] is my teacher,” says James, who swims at the Club twice a week. “He taught me how to dive and do front stroke and backstroke. He’s taught me lots of stuff that’s really helped me.” Transplants to Tokyo from their previous home in Hong Kong, the British trio originally fell in love with the water at a pool that featured a diving platform made to resemble the plank of a mock pirate ship. At first, it was just Charlotte and her dad enjoying the water, but James and Thomas weren’t far behind. After learning about the Sky Pool kids’ program, Laura Weeks decided it was time for her children to refine their aquatic skills. Charlotte, James and Thomas are among the 35 students taking the pool’s group lessons. A further 136 take private classes and around 100 have moved up the ranks to the competitive swim teams that attend meets throughout Tokyo. “The learn-to-swim kids’ groups are tailored to produce young swimmers faster,” says Haldane Henry, Sky Pool manager. “Teaching methods and skills taught are structured for consistency, even if the instructor changes.” Starting at level three, Charlotte has progressed to level five. “In level four, I learned how to go much faster and how to be more powerful in my strokes,” she says. “And now I’m working on getting faster and getting stronger, and I’m doing a few races sometimes.” Charlotte and her brothers might still be mastering swimming’s fundamentals, but the three already have plans for how they might use their newfound abilities. “I kind of want to do the Olympics when I’m older,” says Charlotte. “If I go exploring in a jungle,” wonders James, “I’d be able to outswim crocodiles and piranhas.” For Thomas, the youngest, there are only two opponents he cares about beating to the wall. “My sister and brother.”  For more information on the Sky Pool’s swim development program, visit the Club website.

APRIL  | 17


I N D E P T H | FO CU S

ON A

Elizabeth Tasker

20 | INTOUCH

KAYO YAMAWAKI

“PEOPLE HAVE CONTRIBUTED NOT JUST IN TAX DOLLARS, BUT IN AN ENVIRONMENT AND CULTURE THAT ALLOWED US TO DO SOMETHING AS DARING AS LAND ON AN ASTEROID AND BRING BACK SAMPLES.”


MISSION Ahead of her TAC Talk this month, astrophysicist Elizabeth Tasker explains why she’s determined to share the science of space with as many people as possible. WORDS JOAN BAILEY

T

here was no childhood epiphany for Elizabeth Tasker. No earth-shattering experience that set her on the road to a life in science. Sure, she recalls “demanding” that her father buy her a poster of the giant, ringed planet Saturn after a visit to the London Planetarium at 9 years old. But it was hardly a lightning-bolt moment. “I’d really like to avoid implications there was something ‘key’ at a young age that meant I was set to go into astrophysics. There really was not,” Tasker says. “I think I was just interested in science and gradually pursued it.”

Illustration of exoplanet Kepler-20e

That interest has taken her across the world as a researcher in astrophysics. Now, as an associate professor in the division of solar sciences at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), she divides her time between analyzing star and planet formation and communicating the research and discoveries of the agency. “If you’ve done a space mission and you haven’t awed people, then you’ve missed the main point of the space mission,” Tasker says. “Give people something to wonder about and seek answers to and invite them to come along with you for the journey. People don’t necessarily go on to become planetary scientists, but if they are interested in science and space, they might become doctors and surgeons and everything else we need.” Hired by JAXA in 2016, Tasker, 40, says her days are filled with programming, setting up computer simulations, working on research papers and sharing the agency’s work in English through articles, blog posts and videos. This, she stresses, is a fundamental part of modern science. “Not doing the communication is like making the world’s best cake and then not bothering to ice it,” says Tasker. “Space missions are done by large teams of people who are the product of a community. It’s everyone’s achievement. People have contributed not just in tax dollars, but in an environment and culture that allowed us to do something

APRIL | 21


JAXA

I N D E P T H | FO CU S by her scientist parents (her mother is also a science writer), Tasker wrote articles related to astronomy and physics for such publications and websites as Scientific American, The Conversation and Space.com. When she took up her role as an assistant professor of physics at Hokkaido University in 2011, Tasker wove writing into her research and teaching load in the form of a monthly blog for the university website. She wrote about her work as well as that of her fellow researchers. While Tasker enjoyed her time in Japan’s northern island, earning the university president’s award for education for three consecutive years, she had her sights set on a wider audience. “I was really interested in science communication and wanted to do more writing,” Tasker says. “Hokkaido didn’t have any problem with that, but time wasn’t reserved for it in my job. I was very supportive of the aims of the department of physics, but science writing was very important. I really enjoyed it, so I started to look for opportunities where I could combine my research and science writing more formally.” Then, two things happened. Bloomsbury, the publisher of the Harry Potter titles, approached Tasker in early 2014 to see if she would consider writing a book about planet formation. “I believe this is called opportunity knocking,” says Tasker with another of her easy laughs. “I’d always been interested in writing a book, and I thought that if I really wanted to go into science writing, this could be something I could point to and say, ‘I have experience. I can do this job.’” The ensuing two-and-a-half years of research and writing culminated in The Planet Factory. In it, Tasker explores the Hayabusa2 at Tanegashima Space Center topic of exoplanets, planets outside our solar system that have only been observable in the as daring as land on an asteroid and bring last 30 years. Something of a departure from back samples. That’s not one person’s dream. her previous work on galaxy formation, the That’s a global society that allows us to do that. “NOT DOING THE subject represented an exciting step. We should all be proud of it, and therefore we COMMUNICATION “It’s still astrophysics but it is a change of should all know about it.” IS LIKE MAKING field, so there is a lot of work you need to do to That audacious undertaking was JAXA’s sucTHE WORLD’S BEST switch,” she explains. “I’d been interested in this cessful, six-year mission to an asteroid named CAKE AND THEN for a while, so I used the book as an excuse to Ryugu. After landing on the diamond-shaped NOT BOTHERING spend time doing this.” space rock, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft collected TO ICE IT.” In 2016, Tasker saw that JAXA was lookrock samples then returned those in a capsule ing for an associate professor. She had written to Earth last year. some articles about Hayabusa2 with ProfesIf things had gone according to her initial sor Shogo Tachibana, a member of the mission plan, however, Tasker might well be treating team. Tasker wrote to JAXA with a proposition: since the animals today rather than discussing space probes and asagency’s English outreach was not as substantial as it was in teroids. But an aptitude test at 13 years old led to a change Japanese, she could help to change that. of ambition. The Japanese space agency liked the idea and hired “School officials looked at the results and said, ‘So you Tasker that year. Her initial assignment was to help pubwant to be a veterinarian, but really all you do is read and licize Hayabusa2, which was hurtling toward Ryugu at the study about astronomy and physics?’” says Tasker with a time. Press releases, articles and tweets appeared almost laugh. “Eventually, I saw their point.” simultaneously in Japanese and English, and to her—and After studying theoretical physics at Britain’s Durham JAXA’s—delight, stories began appearing in global media University, she earned a doctoral degree in computational outlets. Tasker realized her work was having an impact astrophysics from the University of Oxford in 2006. Tasker’s when a series of travel snafus delayed a press release and postdoctoral research then took her to Canada, the United she received a frantic e-mail from the BBC the moment she States and now Japan. stepped off a flight. One constant throughout her academic career has been “It showed that people really cared we were putting out her writing. Tasker won the Daily Telegraph’s young science this information,” Tasker says. “They were ready with their writer award in 1999 and wrote about her postdoctoral travown stories and were just waiting for information from us. els in an often humorous blog of her adventures. Inspired

22 | INTOUCH


“THE QUESTIONS THESE MISSIONS ASK—WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF LIFE? WHY ARE WE HERE?—ARE ONES WE ALL WANT TO UNDERSTAND.”

Illustration of exoplanet GJ 436b

It wasn’t just Japan paying attention. It was worldwide. That’s been amazing.” Based at JAXA’s Sagamihara campus in Kanagawa Prefecture, Tasker also writes articles and blog posts about the work of her colleagues for the organization’s website. “They approach me now,” she says, “which is great.” Finding ways to convey the science clearly and effectively is a challenge Tasker embraces. During the pandemic, she taught herself Blender, an open-source, 3D graphics software suite, so she could use video to better present JAXA’s work. The curiosity, creativity and determination she aims to spark in an audience, she says, form the foundation of space exploration itself. “You have to be imaginative enough to think that these missions could even be possible,” she says. “These are sometimes quite audacious ideas for people to even have. To take the technology we possess, imagine what could

happen and invent something that allows us to do what’s never been done before is an immensely creative process.” Such bold and groundbreaking science, Tasker says, deserves broadcasting to all humankind. “The results shouldn’t just be restricted to the handful of scientists who worked on them,” Tasker says. “The questions these missions ask—What is the origin of life? Why are we here?—are ones we all want to understand. That’s one reason why these missions are almost always international. These are really exciting debates and discussions, and we should all get to feel a part of it.” TAC TALK: ELIZABETH TASKER  April 21  7–8pm  Washington & Lincoln rooms  ¥1,500 (online: ¥500)  Copies of The Planet Factory available for purchase for ¥1,560  Sign up online

APRIL | 23


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C O M M U N I T Y | W E L L N E SS

Staying Power

At 80, Member Hiroshi Kasugai might be Japan’s oldest squash player, but he has no intention of hanging up his racket anytime soon. IMAGE KAYO YAMAWAKI

I

was in my late 30s when I started squash. Although courts were rare at that time, I  first encountered squash when my friend took me to Isetan Sports Club in Jiyugaoka. It was fascinating to me. Even in a short time, players were perspiring. The sport appealed to me because I was looking for something to release my energy. When I saw squash, I thought it was a good fit for me for helping to release stress and, at the same time, maintain my physical strength. Once I was on the court, I didn’t think about anything else. I just focused on the ball. I’ve been enjoying the benefits of squash ever since. There was a professional squash coach at the sports club, and I took lessons from him. I was playing three or four times a week. Every weekend, I played. Even when playing only for a short time, I could forget everything and use my energy. I wasn’t that young compared to some of the other players, but I really concentrated on practicing. After about 10 or 12 years, when I was 50, I won the senior division of the Japan championships. I was also runner-up about three times. Physically, I could stay in shape and squash helped me to recharge mentally. If I had a bad day, just one hour on the court was sufficient for me to feel refreshed. The most attractive part of joining the Club in 1994 was the squash com-

Hiroshi Kasugai

munity, because there were so many people I had never played before. Compared to Japanese clubs, there were so many good foreign players here. Until joining the Club, my level was so-so. Playing better players really helped me to improve step-by-step. Squash is my passion. If I lose a game, I think about how I can win next time. It sometimes disturbs my sleep! I always want to win. The only time I haven’t played squash is when I injured my Achilles in about 2000. I collided with a much bigger player here at the Club. I hit the wall and snapped my Achilles tendon. After the operation, I slowly returned to squash. I now play for an hour, sometimes two hours, four or five times a week. Of course, I take a break between games.

Sometimes I practice hitting by myself. Some people ask me how I can do something so monotonous, but I’d like to improve. I also take squash lessons every week with Peter Amaglio and Hitoshi Ushiogi. Sometimes I forget my age, but when I get on the court with faster players, I really feel my reactions are slower and my power is declining. This is why I want to improve my accuracy and tactics. I’d like to play for as long as I can. If I have a chance, I’d like to enter a tournament like the Hong Kong Open, which has an 80s division. Fundamentally, squash has taught me the importance of always improving myself, whether in business or in squash. As told to INTOUCH’s Nick Jones.

APRIL | 25


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C O M M U N I T Y | R EG I ST E R

Arrivals

Up Close

AZABUDAI US A

FRANCE

Jonathan & Haruko Bethune Toyota Research Institute Advanced Development, Inc.

Sebastien Mazella di Bosco Rhône Group LLP

JA PA N

Erik & Cortney Borreson aPriori Technologies Shan & Susan Byrne Lockheed Martin Global, Inc. Alan & Lisa Draper Nippon Sanso Holdings Corporation Asif Malik & Khumara Asad AIG Japan Holdings K.K. Nghia Nguyen & Tomoyo Isoyama Tokyo Academics

Takeo & Akiko Ichisaka Woojin Co., Ltd. Nikhil & Sayuri Khosla Boeing Japan K.K. Yosuke & Nami Maeda WOTA Corporation

(l–r) Rita Jourdi and Freya, Anthony and Emile Copty

Katsufumi Nakamura Analog Devices K.K.

AZABUDAI LEBANON |

NETHERLANDS

Terrence Roberts AIG Japan Holdings K.K. Matthew & Catherine Schiavo PricewaterhouseCoopers Aarata LLC

Michael Kreeft & Anita Sandt BMW Japan Corp.

SOUTH AFRICA

Brian & Azusa Slingsby Catalys Pacific LLC

Andrew & Janet Ferrett Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan, Inc.

Daniel Vanderhave Baron Philippe de Rothschild Clive Watkins & Christine Sprague The American School in Japan

AUST R A L I A

Anthony Copty & Rita Jourdi

British American Tobacco Japan

SWITZERL AND

“We have been an expat family for the last nine years and have lived in four different countries. Moving during a pandemic, however, was bumpier than usual. Joining the Club was the best decision we made. It offers a safe environment in which to maintain our active lifestyle and it allows us a sense of normalcy amid the chaos. We are looking forward to experiencing more of what the Club has to offer.”

Philippe Sommer Aon Group Japan Ltd.

UK

Damon & Masako Jackson AcuVer Co., Ltd.

Lucas & Caroline Bryant Deloitte Thomatsu Tax Co.

Alvaro Ramos Hill’s-Colgate (Japan) Ltd.

Rajesh Subramanian & Neha Shrivastava Genpact Japan K.K.

CHINA Chunyu Kang & Kana Kobayashi Risui Trading Co., Ltd.

Shungo Kuga

NIHONBASHI AUST R A L I A Jarret Turley & Mika Masubuchi Pamcore LLC

JA PA N Takahiro Haruyama Globizz Japan

NIHONBASHI JA PA N |

Naoki Nakagomi Wing Fat International Creative Ltd.

Shungo Kuga

Investors Research Institute Co., Ltd.

Osamu Sato Visa Worldwide Japan Toru Ohara Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd.

Keiji Miyakawa Lincoln International, Inc.

“I have been working in Nihonbashi for almost 30 years. It has been the economic center of Japan since the Edo shogunate was established 400 years ago, and I am proud to be working here. It’s an area I love. I have visited the Azabudai Club three times and loved the stylishness of the building’s design and its special atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to the opening of the Nihonbashi Club.”

Departures Alexandra Beneville & Joshua Hemani

Osamu Mawatari

Jeffrey Williams Watts

Stewart & Emiko Flanders

Preston & Jessica Page

Jannie & Ilze Oosthuizen

Laura Garza & Ines Palomera De Las Casas

Lloyd N Parker & Yasuko Minami

Yoshiko Ukawa

Anita Killian

Sara Sakamoto

Dinh Lai & Kerri Fulginiti

Kazuhiro Tokoro

APRIL | 27


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

Learning to Love the Slopes WORDS MYIESHA JAIN ILLUSTRATION TANIA VICEDO

I

f someone had asked me what my favorite sports were four months ago, skiing would have been miles away from that list. Now, given the chance, I would be on the slopes every weekend. Last Christmas, we spent a week in Hakuba. The Nagano resort was piled high with white powder, every roof topped with a delicate covering. On our second day there, I took ski lessons. Despite my excitement, I got shivers—and not because of the freezing cold. What if there was an avalanche? What if I fell off the mountain? On top of that, we had to wear uncomfortable ski boots. I could hardly walk, and I almost mistook myself for a snowman. We started with the basics of how to put on skis. I fell over so many times, quitting seemed like the best option. However, I got used to it after hours of practice. After learning how to do wedges, I was ready to try the

chairlift. Even though we were a few meters above the ground and I felt like puking, I surprisingly handled the ride. Then I saw the slope. I was about to go down a rollercoaster without my seatbelt on. My instructor opened up her skis to look like a pizza. She told me to keep my skis within hers, so I also made a pizza. On the first run, we went down together. I felt like I was gliding on the snow. When I got to the bottom, I took a deep breath. My heart leapt and soared. Soon enough, I was able to ski by myself. First, I was just skiing, and then I learned how to make turns. I knew I wasn’t speeding like a lightning bolt, but I felt like I was racing. My hair blew in the breeze as I zoomed down the course. Although I fell a few times (actually, too many to count), if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks to the trip, I managed to get a good start in the sport.

Next, we went to Lotte Arai, a ski resort in Niigata. The day after we arrived, I enrolled in the ski school. Everyone was friendly, and we skied for several hours. The sun was burning, and I felt like a melting scoop of ice cream. But we stopped for breaks to enjoy the mountain view. The first time we skied down Sunrise, an intermediate run, I fell over a lump of snow. My skis and poles went flying and I landed on the cold blanket. I was so shocked that I couldn’t move for five minutes. But the next time I tried Sunrise, I was more aware of the small bumps in the snow. Niigata was wonderful, and I’m now a levelthree skier. Stepping out of my comfort zone this winter helped me realize that I want to spend every winter break up on the slopes. Myiesha Jain is a fifth grader at the American School in Japan.

APRIL | 29


NEW HITOMI DENTAL OFFICE AKASAKA Akasaka Royal Plaza 2F, 2-13-8 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052

Transforming valuable moments into an asset for the future. We believe that visual documentation is an asset in one’s brand. Our team at LIFE.14 works closely with embassies, international organizations and global conferences. We are not just camerapersons, we are your professional partner to provide high-quality photographs and footage to broaden your possibilities for the future.

Global Visual Production

www.life14.com contact@life14.com 03-6709-9442

Event coverage specialists - Photographers & Videographers


COMMUNIT Y | HIGHLIGHTS

March 5 Friday Night Live

Local musicians Steve Gardner and Felix Sonnyboy eased Members into the weekend with a Friday evening set of Mississippi blues in the Winter Garden. IMAGES YUUKI IDE

APRIL | 31


COMMUNIT Y | PURSUIT

CLASS

Introduction to Qigong

With its roots in ancient Chinese philosophy, medicine and martial arts, qigong helps practitioners find physical and mental balance and vitality through meditation, regulated breathing, poses and movements. Similar to tai chi, the practice can boost energy and overall health.

INSTRUCTOR

Aaron Bridge (pictured left)

Aaron Bridge has been practicing Shaolin kung fu and qigong since 2001. A third-degree black belt and a certified instructor of Shaolin practices, he has taught in the UK and at a Shaolin school in China. Bridge is also a qualified yoga instructor and personal trainer.

YUUKI IDE

Wellness Workout STUDENT

Robert Whittemore

“Qigong combines body movements and breathing exercises. It encourages you to destress and relax. It makes me more aware of how I am breathing and exerting energy during exercise. It also offers a way to cool down and refresh myself after my Fitness Center workouts.”

INTRODUCTION TO QIGONG  April 3  9:30–10:30am & 10:45–11:45am  Free  Activity Room  Ages 18 & above  Sign up online

32 | INTOUCH


A REFINED PLACE OF F INAL R EPOSE Built on the site of a temple that dates back centuries and conveniently located just minutes away from Hiroo Station, Ryomon offers an elegant setting for paying respects to those who have passed on. After checking in at reception, patrons go to a private room to which their loved one’s funerary urn is automatically moved within minutes. Tastefully appointed rooms designed with both Japanese and Western clients in mind are available. Ryomon is an ideal option for members of the international community who wish to be interred in Japan, as well as Japanese families whose ancestral graves are far from Tokyo.

Minami-Azabu 5-1-4, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047 0120-149-208 (toll free) ryomon.jp


spa facilities that will help you look and feel your best. If you’re looking for long-term lease properties with a full range of services in convenient locations around Tokyo, it’s time to upgrade to MORI LIVING.

www.moriliving.com

APRIL 2021

INTOUCH

at one of the city’s hottest restaurants. On-site gym and

TOKYO AMERIC AN CLUB

An English-speaking concierge who helps you book a table

毎月一回一日発行  第四十七巻六七ニ号 トウキョウアメリカンクラブ  インタッチマガジン二〇二一年四月一日発行  平成三年十二月二十日第三種郵便物許可定価八00円 本体七四一円

Time for an upgrade Time for MORI LIVING

TOKYO AMERIC AN CLUB

Space Quest Club speaker and astrophysicist Elizabeth Tasker talks exoplanets and galactic exploration APRIL 2021

H I T T I N G T H E TA RG E T + E A RT H AC T I V IS M + S Q UA S H D OY E N

Profile for Tokyo American Club

April 2021 INTOUCH Magazine  

Tokyo American Club's Monthly Member Magazine

April 2021 INTOUCH Magazine  

Tokyo American Club's Monthly Member Magazine

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