January 2023 INTOUCH Magazine

Page 20

American Room chefs prepare to dazzle palates at a New Year dining experience Kitchen Creative TAKING STOCK UNEARTHING THE CLUB’S PAST BEAUTY IN EMPTINESS JANUARY 2023 TOKYO AMERICAN CLUB

Premium real estate for Tokyo living

A pioneer in prestigious real estate

Our Homat Series has been offering the best in moder n an d s t yli s h ren t al s i n p r ime loca t io n s f or i nt e r n at ion al res id ent s s in ce 1965

We offer a wide range of premium residences, from h ighr is es wi t h s wee p in g p an or amic view s , s u ch a s t h e Homa t V is co un t i n A kas aka, t o low- r is e res id en ces i n green and quiet neighborhoods, such as the Kara Blanc in Minami-Azabu. Our continuing goal i s t o p rovid e hig h q u ali t y h ou s in g f or e x p at f amilie s livi n g a n d wo r ki n g i n Tokyo ’s ci t y ce n t er w w w. ns k r e . co. j p/en g l i s h

We don’t just offer places to live, but locations where communities can grow.
Kara Blanc in Minami-Azabu

COOKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

American Room chefs let their culinary imaginations run wild for the Nihonbashi Club’s bimonthly dinner that puts kitchen faces to dishes.

DRAWING A BLANK

In a farewell love letter to Japan, Member Risa Dimacali shares how the country taught her to appreciate the beauty of ma.

UNEARTHING

JAPAN’S SAMURAI SOUL

Set to speak at the first TAC Talk of the year, writer Gavin Blair moves beyond the myths and clichés of Japan’s legendary warriors.

Contents
20
29
17
LEADERSHIP 5 DIGEST 6 AGENDA 10 INDEPTH FLAVORS 15 HISTORY 17 EXHIBITION 19 DINING 20 GOVERNANCE 22 COMMUNITY WELLNESS 25 REGISTER 27 VOICE 29 HIGHLIGHTS 30 PURSUIT 36 Cover image of (l–r) American Room chefs Jerard Untalan, Yasuharu Nakajima and Nobuhiro Fujiwara by Kayo Yamawaki RICHARD ATRERO DE GUZMAN TANIA VICEDO KAYO YAMAWAKI FOLLOW US JANUARY | 1

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Representative Governor Jesse Green (2023)

First Vice President Sam Rogan (2024)

Second Vice President Dean R Rogers (2024)

Secretary Nils Plett (2023)

Treasurer Rune Sølvsteen (2023)

Governors Trista Bridges Bivens (2024), Justin Keyes (2024), Gregory Lyon (2023), Mihoko Manabe (2024), Tetsutaro Muraki (2024), Catherine Ohura (2023), Edward Rogers (2024), Reiko Saito (2023), Vanessa Thomas—Connections president (2023) Statutory Auditors Koichi Komoda (2024), Paul Kuo (2023)

Parentheses denote term limit.

CLUB COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Compensation Gregory Lyon Culture, Community & Entertainment Matthew Tappenden (Trista Bridges Bivens)

Finance Patrick McLeod (Rune Sølvsteen)

Food & Beverage Mark Spencer (Sam Rogan)

House Adam Donahue (Dean R Rogers)

Human Resources Ken Cogger (Reiko Saito)

Membership Justin Negron (Tetsutaro Muraki) Nihonbashi Geoffrey Bowman (Catherine Ohura)

Nominating Joseph Etheridge

Recreation Shinji Yamasaki (Nils Plett)

Risk Control Ren Kuroda (Mihoko Manabe) Parentheses denote Board liaison.

ADVERTISING IN INTOUCH

Explore the Club’s range of advertising possibilities by talking to the Club’s exclusive advertising agency, Custom Media.

Custom Media President Robert Heldt

Custom Media Publisher Simon Farrell

advertising@tac-club.org 03-4540-7730 | www.custom-media.com

GENERAL MANAGER

Darren Morrish

ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGERS

Business Operations Wayne Hunter Business Support Lian Chang

DIRECTORS

Communications Shane Busato

Facilities Toby Lauer Finance Naoto Okutsu

Food & Beverage Suranga Hettige Don Human Resources Jason Dominici Member Services Jonathan Allen Nihonbashi Noriaki Yamazaki Recreation Susanna Yung

INTOUCH

Editor C Bryan Jones editor@tac-club.org

Communications Manager Nick Jones Designer Kohji Shiiki

Designer Clara Garcia Production Administrator Yuko Shiroki

CONTRIBUTORS

Writers Risa Dimacali Tim Hornyak David McElhinney Brendan Morris Nils Plett

Photographers Louise Angerer Clara Garcia Yuuki Ide Kayo Yamawaki Illustrator Tania Vicedo

JOINING TOKYO AMERICAN CLUB

To arrange a tour of the facilities, contact the Membership Office.

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

membership@tac-club.org 03-4588-0687 | www.tokyoamericanclub.org

All prices referenced in INTOUCH include consumption tax.

TOKYO AMERICAN CLUB
2 | INTOUCH

Endless Views of an Iconic Shoreline

INQUIRE kalaewardvillagehonolulu.com | +1 808 376 1882 Offered by Ward Village Properties, LLC RB-21701 Shimmering

with light reflected from the Pacific, Kalae was positioned to maximize exposure to the landscapes and ocean vistas along O‘ahu’s southern shore. Residence interiors feature open designs that invite quiet moments, and family connection. 青く澄み渡る太平洋の反射光に煌めくKalae。 オアフ島サウスショアの魅惑のランドスケープや息を呑む大洋の景観と、静寂のひとときと家族の繋がりをもたらす 開放的なデザイン。Kalaeは、モダンインテリアと時代を超えて受け継がれてきた眺望を併せ持つ比類のレジデンスとなる。

JANUARY | 3 KALAEレジデンス01リビングルーム
THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE AN OFFERING OR SOLICITATION OF SALE IN ANY JURISDICTION WHERE THE PROJECT IS NOT REGISTERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAW OR WHERE SUCH OFFERING OR SOLICITATION WOULD OTHERWISE BE PROHIBITED BY LAW. WARD VILLAGE, A MASTER PLANNED DEVELOPMENT IN HONOLULU, HAWAII, IS STILL BEING CONSTRUCTED. ANY VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS OF WARD VILLAGE OR THE CONDOMINIUM PROJECTS THEREIN, INCLUDING THEIR LOCATION, UNITS, COMMON ELEMENTS AND AMENITIES, MAY NOT ACCURATELY PORTRAY THE MASTER PLANNED DEVELOPMENT OR ITS CONDOMINIUM PROJECTS. ALL VISUAL DEPICTIONS AND DESCRIPTIONS IN THIS ADVERTISEMENT ARE FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY. THE DEVELOPER MAKES NO GUARANTEE, REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY WHATSOEVER THAT THE DEVELOPMENTS, FACILITIES OR IMPROVEMENTS OR FURNISHINGS AND APPLIANCES DEPICTED WILL ULTIMATELY APPEAR AS SHOWN OR EVEN BE INCLUDED AS A PART OF WARD VILLAGE OR ANY CONDOMINIUM PROJECT THEREIN. WARD VILLAGE PROPERTIES, LLC, RB-21701. COPYRIGHT ©2022. EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY. WARNING: THE CALIFORNIA BOARD OF REAL ESTATE HAS NOT INSPECTED, EXAMINED OR QUALIFIED THIS OFFERING.
tac@a rgentumw eal th.com | 03- 554 9-9099 www.argentumwealth.com Licensedin Japan and established in 2007 Find financial peace of mind Retirement and education solutions Regular and lump-sum investments US-based investments and trusts Properties in Japan and abroad Life and health insurance US tax and estate planning Investment advice for expats and Japanese nationals Contact us, fellow Club members, for free consultations online, at yours, ours or the Club.

Healthy Change

Although many new fitness and recreation programs were only introduced in November, satisfaction for these was higher in 2022 than in 2021. In fact, last year’s score for the recreation area was one of its highest since 2016, illustrating the impact of the developments we made.

Management, the Board and the Recreation Committee’s volunteer members are looking to further boost satisfaction and participation this year with the coming introduction of brand-new equipment in the Fitness Center, an inflatable play set for the Sky Pool, more free fitness programs and the flexible, all-inclusive Sky Pool Pass, which allows Members unlimited access to all adult pool programs for a low annual, quarterly or monthly fee (details on page 10).

The only constant in life is change. So said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, and I believe he was right. How to manage that change is up to each of us. We can either fall back to the status quo or accept that life is a winding road and strive to make it a positive journey.

The pandemic created many challenges for the Club, but it also gave us the opportunity to institute healthy change. In the face of Covid-related twists and turns and a 2021 membership survey that screamed out for change, the Board sat down with management to identify ways to improve Member participation and satisfaction.

After defining the priorities, we worked with the committee chairs to categorize short-, medium- and long-term goals. Menus were revamped, food improved, services like the Childcare and Bowling centers reopened, programs with a broader appeal created and regular events reestablished.

What a difference a year makes. The results of the 2022 membership survey, completed by nearly 1,800 Members, showed great improvement in key areas. We achieved our goal of 91 percent in Member satisfaction. Our “net promoter score,” which gauges how likely Members are to recommend Club membership to others, grew from +17 to +30, far better than our five-point improvement target. And we exceeded our goal of four on the survey’s five-point scale for food quality.

Healthy change that promotes Member participation and communities of all ages will continue to be the focus this year as we strive to build on last year’s momentum and elevate Member value across the Club.

As I wrote in early 2022, the Club should be a place where Members of all ages and interests can relax and enjoy being a part of a vibrant community. I look forward to continuing to make that a reality.

Nils Plett is the Club’s secretary.

“Healthy change that promotes Member participation and communities of all ages will continue to be the focus this year.”
JANUARY | 5 leadership

In the spirit of fresh starts for a new year, INTOUCH has undergone a makeover.

The overall design, from the cover through each section, has been upgraded with a lighter, contemporary feel to provide a more engaging read. There is more to read as well, with a new food-focused page and two stories in place of the previous four-page cover feature.

Evolving Simplicity

There is no genius where there is not simplicity. Tolstoy noted this in his renowned 1869 novel War and Peace . As I toiled over the expansive work as part of my early-morning Russian literature class in university, simplicity may not have been on my mind. But as I’ve made my way through decades of work on magazines, as both a writer and designer, I’ve come to value simplicity more and more.

As we adopt sustainable ink and paper to kick off a new year of INTOUCH , we’re also refreshing the design in subtle ways that bring even greater simplicity to our pages. After years of working with our

The changes even extend to the paper on which the magazine is printed. The Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper is harvested from sustainably managed forests and the ink is made from vegetable oil. Since this eco-friendly ink is easier to separate from paper than a petroleum-based ink, recycling is cheaper and less damaging to the environment.

Of course, some Members may wish to reduce their carbon footprint further by opting to read the digital version of INTOUCH only. To receive an e-mail with a link to the online version each month, simply visit https://tac. club/intouchsubscription to register. NJ

extraordinarily talented designer, Kohji Shiiki, on multiple publications, I am taking another step down that personal path of whittling away the complex.

Genius can also be found in our cover story, which uncovers the culinary creativity and simplicity of American Room chefs, who continually surprise and delight Members through the Nihonbashi Chef’s Table dinners, which mark their first anniversary next month. How they cook outside the box—and why Members love it—is revealed on page 20.

New Year, New Look
MAGAZINE
CLARA GARCIA
6 | INTOUCH digest

From the Shelves LIBRARY

For 14-year-old Member Maya Hathaway, fun and interesting characters are what draw her into a story. Luckily, there are plenty of those to uncover amid the shelves of the Library.

What was your favorite childhood book?

The Pinkalicious series by Victoria Kann and Fancy Nancy, written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser, were definitely my favorites as a kid. What I liked most about Fancy Nancy was how she was always so dramatic and really funny as well. I also loved her fashion style. Everything was always pink.

I wanted to be her.

What inspired your love of books?

I don’t really know, but my eldest brother read a lot, and so I started to read more as well. But I would say that at first I really just read a lot of comic books!

What genre do you most enjoy?

Right now, I most enjoy fiction—especially realistic fiction. In elementary school, I was obsessed with historical fiction and read a book from the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis. I thought, “That’s so cool!” and went on to read many more from that collection.

I also really like Alan Gratz. The first of his books I read was Refugee. It is amazing because the three stories, taking place in three eras, are told all at once.

What are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus. It’s a young adult mystery novel about four high school

students who are suspects in the death of their classmate. I just started it and, so far, it’s pretty good. I hope it stays interesting. When were you last unable to put down a book?

The last time I couldn’t put down a book was when I was in seventh grade. I started the Legend series by Marie Lu and I couldn’t stop until I read all the books. It’s an amazing series about two characters, June and Day, living in a dystopian future. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next because, while each book has a really good ending, they kind of leave you on a cliffhanger.

Lucky You

The year of the rabbit in the Chinese zodiac supposedly brings with it an extra ounce of good fortune. Which will suit lovers of a relaxing Spa session.

For the duration of January, when you spend at least ¥7,000 at The Spa, you’ll have the chance to spin the “wheel of fortune” and win from a lineup of wellness-boosting prizes.

Unwind at the Club’s fourth-floor retreat and you could receive a complimentary treatment, 20 percent off a rejuvenating therapy or facial or free Dermalogica skincare products.

Grab that lucky rabbit’s foot and prepare to treat yourself to a month of unapologetic pampering. NJ

CLARA GARCIA KAYO
SPA
JANUARY | 7
Maya Hathaway
Tailor-made style
business and smart casual wear by Hong Kong tailor Vinod Bahrunani
a free consultation and receive a complimentary shirt, no obligation.
at: Tokyo American Club
& February 23–27)
InterContinental Akasaka
16–17 & February 21–23)
that non-members can also have ttings at the Club.
sales@eutailors.com www.euromerican.com
Made-to-measure
Schedule
Appointments
(January 12–16
ANA
(January
Note
Email:

Service with a Smile

New Year Pours

When you’re living in another country, a friendly face and helpful hand can go a long way in making you feel at home. When Member Marie Briganti arrived at the Club in 2021, she found two: Yoko Akiba and Madoka Saito, the staff who keep the Connections Office running.

What’s their secret to putting Members at ease? Briganti, now director of communications for Connections, says it’s their ability to help newcomers understand the culture of both Japan and the Club.

“You come in, stressed out or worried about something, and you almost always leave less stressed, laughing or thinking about the positive impact you’re having on the community. You become like family.”

The feeling is mutual.

“Marie is genuine and fun to work with—there’s trust, respect, self-awareness, inclusion and open communication with her,” says Saito, who joined the Club in 2011. “She always tells us how much she appreciates what we do for Connections. The same goes for so many Connections members.”

Akiba, with the Club since 2016, adds that the key for her and Saito is “to understand that each culture, each Member is different and to adapt our working style to bring things together.”

The pair’s service-minded attitude inspired Briganti to recognize Akiba and Saito in a Tell TAC comment card.

“They pick up all the loose ends and deal with mountains of paperwork, juggling all the different departments that have to be coordinated to make things happen,” Briganti explains. “They really create a bridge between each of us and encourage us, and they build relationships within our own committees and between Connections and the rest of the Club.” CBJ

Members can recognize Club staff by submitting a Tell TAC online or by filling out one of the cards available around the Club.

After the festivities of the holidays, it’s all about raising a glass to the coming year. And The Cellar has a superb selection of wines for uncorking this month.

Originally from Bordeaux, Carménère is the Chilean varietal, and Koyle’s 2018 Carmenere Royale (¥3,050) is an excellent example. Produced in the Colchagua Valley, this silky wine is bold and structured with a long finish of blackberry, peppercorn and chocolate. Pairs with roasted meats and tomatobased and spicy dishes.

Heading north to California, Eden Rift is the state’s oldest continually wine-producing vineyard. Located in the Monterey Bay-facing Arroyo Seco appellation, the winery’s 2018 Griva Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (¥4,300) is a lively white wine with aromas of honeysuckle, grapefruit and white peach.

After two New World wine recommendations, my third is from Veneto in northeastern Italy. The 2019 Prà Morandina Valpolicella (¥3,100) should appeal to fans of rich, fruity reds. Despite being a more immediate wine, this Valpolicella maintains the character and fruit richness of fine Soave Classico reds.

Whatever you pour this month, happy New Year!

Brendan Morris is a member of the Club’s Wine & Beverage Committee.

For the month of January, receive a 10 percent discount on purchases of at least three bottles of any of these recommended Cellar wines.

WINE
WORDS BRENDAN MORRIS IMAGE KAYO YAMAWAKI
RECOGNITION
CLARA GARCIA
Photo (l–r): Madoka Saito, Marie Briganti and Yoko Akiba
JANUARY | 9 digest

What’s on in

JANUARY

9 Sky Pool Pass

Before joining the Club’s masters swim program in 2018, Member David Litt had only occasionally worked out under the Sky Pool’s glass dome. Four years later, the Keio University law professor racks up morning laps alongside fellow advanced masters swimmers.

But with an unpredictable work and travel schedule, signing up for each month’s sessions hasn’t always made sense.

“I find myself doing a monthly mental calculation,” Litt says. “Will I attend enough masters sessions to make it worth paying for the program? Should I just walk in and pay a higher rate for the few days I can join in a given month?”

From this month, the avid cyclist will no longer need to weigh up those options. With the new Sky Pool Pass, Members have access to the full range of adult aquatic classes—from stroke development to aqua fitness—through an annual, quarterly or monthly fee.

With such flexibility, Litt, who credits the morning workouts and camaraderie for boosting his mood, plans to up his swim game by finding days—and new programs— that work with his schedule. CBJ

• Sky Pool • Annual: ¥100,000; Annual Flex: ¥120,000 (¥10,000 per month); Quarterly: ¥37,500 • Register online

10 | INTOUCH agenda
KAYO YAMAWAKI

Seven Lucky Gods Walking Tour

Stock up on good luck during this Club “pilgrimage” to a collection of temples in Tokyo’s Yanaka district.

• 10am–1pm • ¥500 (guests: ¥770) • Sign up online

11

Wednesday Storytime

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

• 4–4:30pm • Children’s Library • Free • Details online

13

Winter Garden Melodies

Pull up a seat, order a glass of something and enjoy the soothing sounds of violinist Naoki Bouno.

• 6–9pm • Winter Garden • Free • Details online

13–15

Winterwear Sale

See off Jack Frost with stylish goose down jackets for 80 percent off at this three-day sale of Tatras winter apparel.

• 10:30am–7pm (January 13 & 14); 10:30am–5pm (January 15) • Beate Sirota Gordon & Haru Reischauer classrooms • Details online

15

New Year’s Daruma Workshop

Make sure you stick to that New Year’s resolution with the help of your own traditional daruma doll.

• 2–3:30pm • Gymnasium • ¥4,950 (guests: ¥5,940) • Sign up online

17

Nihonbashi

Chef’s Table

Enjoy an intimate dinner of gourmet cuisine and wine pairings. Learn more about this bimonthly event on page 20.

• 6pm • American Room (private dining room) • ¥15,000 (guests: ¥18,000) • Sign up online

18

Toastmasters Luncheon

Hone your public speaking and presentation skills at regular meetings of the Club’s cohort of Toastmasters.

• 12–1:30pm • Washington & Lincoln rooms • ¥2,420 (guests: ¥2,820)

• Sign up online

17 Tokyo American Club: Through the Years

Unlike European cities, with their historic centers and ancient monuments, the Japanese capital is in constant flux. This means that history is often hidden under elevated expressways or relegated to a mention in a museum or textbook. That is exactly the challenge that Library manager Drew Damron faced when he began building a Club archive, which became the foundation for the fascinating exhibition that launches in the Frederick Harris Gallery this month.

As Damron explains in a piece on page 17, the Club’s own heritage is woven into the wider history of the city in many wonderfully unexpected ways. Much of it—like the fact that Emperor Hirohito spent three years as a child on the property now home to the Azabudai Club—was waiting to be rediscovered.

The pandemic delivered a chance to do just that. When artists began canceling Frederick Harris Gallery shows, the idea of a semipermanent exhibit was raised. And when the Culture, Community & Entertainment Committee’s Miki Ohyama learned of Damron’s research project, Tokyo American Club: Through the Years was born.

Timed with the exhibition, the Culture, Community & Entertainment Committee will host a tree-planting ceremony on January 21 for a sapling grafted from the famous Miharu Takizakura. The ancient cherry tree grows in the Fukushima town of Miharu, the ancestral home of the Edo-era Akita samurai clan, who once resided on the land where the Azabudai Club now sits.

“Through [Damron’s] extensive research, we learned that the Club has roots with Fukushima,” says the committee’s JoAnn Yoneyama. “The relationship we developed with Fukushima City after the Tohoku earthquake helped us get in contact with Miharu officials, who are generously donating the tree.” CBJ • Through February 6 • Frederick Harris Gallery • Details online

7
Image: Azabudai Club before reconstruction in the 1970s
JANUARY | 11

19 Book Lovers’ Group

Join fellow bibliophiles for a discussion of Emily St John Mandel’s latest novel, Sea of Tranquility

• 11am–12:30pm • CHOP Lounge • Free

• Details online

19

Men’s Golf Group Kickoff Party

Whether you spent last year’s rounds safe on the fairway or battling bunkers, join fellow golfers for an evening of awards and drinks.

• 7pm • Washington & Lincoln rooms

• Men’s Golf Group members: free (non-Men’s Golf Group members: ¥5,500) • Sign up online

20

Winter Garden Melodies

Ease into the weekend with flute and piano duo Ayaka Misawa and Takuya Watanabe.

• 6–9pm • Winter Garden • Free • Details online

21

Cherry Tree-Planting Ceremony

The Culture, Community & Entertainment Committee hosts a planting of a sapling from Fukushima’s ancient Miharu Takizakura cherry tree outside Traders’ Bar.

• 2:30pm • Free • Details online

22

Urban Dance Workshop

Dance instructor and choreographer Kana Ando hosts two sessions of cool beats and sick moves.

• Ages 9–12: 1–2:30pm; ages 13 & above: 2:30–4pm • The Studio • ¥4,400 (guests: ¥5,280) • Sign up online

25

TAC Talk: Gavin Blair

Samurai are one of Japan’s most iconic symbols, but how much of their legend is true? The author of An Illustrated Guide to Samurai History and Culture enlightens on page 17.

• 7–8pm • Toko Shinoda & Yukiko Maki classrooms • ¥1,650 (guests: ¥1,980)

• Sign up online

24

Backstreets of Ginza

Ask any Tokyoite, expat or even tourist what comes to mind when they think of Ginza, and fashionbrand shopping and fine dining are sure to be a common answer. But the famously upscale Tokyo district has a lot more than just historic department stores and Michelinstarred restaurants. According to Member and certified national guide-interpreter Kazuko Morio, there’s another side to Ginza that few people ever explore.

As Connections’ director of tours, Morio will help lead an “adventure tour full of discoveries, from a hidden shrine at the end of a narrow alley, where only one person can pass, to a cutting-edge gallery in an antique building” this month.

Those familiar with the main intersections of Ginza may be surprised to learn that many of the names containing the Japanese word for bridge, bashi, preserve the name of a canal that once followed the same path. The traces of these canals, which were filled in after World War II, are just one of the fascinating remnants of Tokyo’s past to be explored during this excursion through time.

Away from Ginza’s glitzy boulevards, Members will visit centuriesold sword, kimono and woodblock print shops and even discover the origin of the district’s name.

As the group winds its way through the area’s alleys and backstreets, it is Morio’s hope that “participants will come to know Japanese history, culture and new trends, as well as find their new favorite things and places to enrich their lives.” CBJ

• 9:30am–2pm • Connections members: ¥4,000 (non-Connections members and guests: ¥4,400) • Sign up online

12 | INTOUCH agenda

28 Carpet Auction

If you’re looking for your dream home, Abdul Shukor has some unusual advice: “Get the rugs first and then look for the house.”

The co-owner of Singapore-based Eastern Carpets, whose woven works and advice have made the Carpet Auction a Club mainstay and a key fundraising event for Connections for more than 20 years, is thrilled to be returning to the Club for the first time since 2020. And it is world events, he explains, that make this year’s auction particularly significant.

“We have managed to secure a collection from the tribal regions of Afghanistan,” he says. “These carpets will become extremely rare, as the war has ravaged most of the weaving areas and displaced the weaving population. They have become highly collectible.”

Members will also be able to bid for rare village and tribal carpets and rugs from Silk Road regions bordering Russia and Afghanistan, including seldom seen works from Samarkand in Uzbekistan, known for their rich, vibrant colors.

“The highlight will be an example that features the design of the inside of a palace dome,” says Shukor’s business partner, Edmund Leslie Rajendra. “For the first time, we have managed to include in the collection silk carpets woven by the most skilled weavers of the region, having a knot count of almost 1,000 per square inch.” CBJ

• 4:30–10pm • New York Ballroom • ¥4,500 (guests: ¥6,500) • Adults only • Sign up online

27

Winter Garden Melodies Wrap up the week to the soothing standards of talented pianist Kotomi Hasegawa.

• 6–9pm • Winter Garden • Free • Details online

28

Saturday Storytime

Kids jump into the weekend with a book-inspired morning of magic, adventure and laughs.

• 11:30am–12pm • Children’s Library • Free • Details online

28

Show & Tell Jamboree

Ages 6 to 9 build confidence at an afternoon of games, music and selfesteem-boosting activities.

• 1–2:30pm • Toko Shinoda & Yukiko Maki classrooms • ¥1,000 (guests: ¥1,200) • Sign up online

28

Youth Toastmasters Club

Youngsters pick up tips on public speaking and debating from members of the Club’s own Toastmasters group.

• 3–4pm • Toko Shinoda & Yukiko Maki classrooms • ¥1,100 (guests: ¥1,320) • Ages 10–18 • Sign up online

29

Fitness Fair

Shed those holiday pounds at a circuit of fitness classes guaranteed to set you on the path to a 2023 of renewed wellness.

• 3:30–6pm • Gymnasium • Free • Sign up online

31

Squash Kickoff Party

The Club’s squash enthusiasts launch the 2023 season with an evening of drinks and buffet eats.

• 7:30–9:30pm • Washington & Lincoln rooms • ¥1,500 • Members only • Sign up online

Check the Club website for the most up-to-date information on events and programs.

YUUKI IDE JANUARY | 13

Revealing the Roots of a Quality Education

Malvern College Tokyo’s new seminars explore the school’s ethos

Preparing to open this September, Malvern College Tokyo (MCT) will be offering students a unique learning environment that brings together a diverse array of influences.

The school plans to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, complemented with courses that teach entrepreneurship, financial literacy, social­emotional learning and the latest in digital technology. Students will be exposed to sustainability concepts through an innovative Forest School program and experience the best of both British and Japanese culture. This nurturing and inspiring school will instill its students with the key Malvern Qualities, which will serve them not only during their time at MCT, but as they move on to university and future careers:

Not only are these qualities central to the Malvern experience, but they are also closely linked to those that the IB system encourages in its students.

MALVERN EXPERIENCES

To put a spotlight on these qualities over the next several months, MCT will be hosting a series called Malvern Experiences. Each event will reveal a different facet of education at the school. For example, when social and emo tional learning are discussed, Malvern Experiences presenters will explain how students both young and old

will be encouraged to express themselves confidently and share their feelings. An MCT education will put primacy on students discovering what they love and putting their passion into action.

Financial literacy will be explored as a topic that even the youngest children can learn, and one that will pay dividends in lifelong responsible money management habits. Sustainability is another key value at MCT and will be covered in detail through the Forest School program, which encourages a love of nature in young learners while teaching lessons of collaboration and problem solving through a variety of outdoor activities enjoyed at green spaces near the Kodaira campus.

As the series will demonstrate, the skills and values to be taught at MCT will be ones that will inform students not just for the next 10 years, but the next 50, and will help them skillfully navigate future situations that we can hardly imagine in the present day.

The first Malvern Experience will be dedicated to English education and creativity,

with a full array of topics to come. To receive more information about these sessions, please sign up:

} Humility } Self­awareness } Independence } Collaboration } Risk­taking } Open­mindedness
} Resilience } Curiosity } Ambition } Kindness } Integrity
14 | INTOUCH advertorial

Smokin’

They might originate from south of the border, but nachos are a much-loved bar staple in the United States. Traders’ Bar’s own take on the Mexican classic is a hit with Members, who proved the inspiration for the watering hole’s pulled pork nachos.

According to Scott Kihara, the Club’s chef de cuisine, bar regulars would order the pulled pork from the menu and customize servings of Traders’ traditional beef chili nachos. Club chefs took notice.

The rich, full-flavored smoked pork from Iowa’s Berkwood Farms is what elevates the dish.

“Our chefs painstakingly pull each pork shoulder by hand to get the right texture,” Kihara says. “The corn tortilla chips are deepfried and topped with our house-made guacamole, pico de gallo, jalapeños, loads of cheese, sour cream and fresh cilantro.”

• Pulled pork nachos • ¥1,500 (large: ¥2,100)

JANUARY | 15 flavors

The High-Tech Way to a New You

Morpho Beauty specializes in cutting-edge treatments based on hydrogen inhalation, which can help improve the health of your scalp as well as combat premature thinning and greying. Experience the full range of our services for yourself and discover just how good you can look.

Patio Azabujuban II, 5F Motoazabu 3-11-3, Minato-ku Tokyo 106-0046 03-5843-1554 www.morpho-beauty.jp

A fully accredited Montessori school for students from 2 to 15 years old Education Re -Imagined www.montessorijapan com The Montessori School of Tokyo 3-5-13 Minami Azabu Minato-ku Tokyo 106-0047 03 5449 7067 #MSTEducationReimagined
/MSTokyo Connect with
The Montessori School of Tokyo

Unearthing Japan’s Samurai Soul

This month’s TAC Talk speaker attempts to demystify Japan’s legendary warriors.

Few Club Members may realize that the current Azabudai building sits on land that once belonged to the Akita samurai clan, part of the warrior class that was a major social institution in Japan until just half a century before the Club’s founding in 1928.

Japan’s famous caste of military nobility is the subject of a new book by this month’s TAC Talk speaker, Gavin Blair. In An Illustrated Guide to Samurai History and Culture, the British writer tells the story of how samurai, or bushi, emerged in the 12th century, cemented their grip on political power and engaged in prolonged wars for dominance.

The three great warlords who achieved ultimate hegemony—Nobunaga Oda (1534–1582), Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1536–1598) and Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543–1616)— left behind a unified and flourishing nation with a distinct culture. It proved ripe for industrialization under Emperor Meiji, who laid the foundations of modern Japan.

Blair, who has worked as a Japan correspondent for numerous international media outlets, has practiced karate for 35 years. It was this interest in martial arts that brought him to Japan in 1997 “after watching too many ninja and kung fu films.”

In writing his third book following Zen in Japanese Culture and Japan in 100 Words: From Anime to Zen, Blair wanted to explode some samurai myths while also exploring how their legacy continues to shape Japan today.

“Samurai didn’t all live by the same code as popularized in Bushido: The Soul of Japan, a book written by Inazo Nitobe in English while living in America,” says Blair, 52.

“I don’t think there was one unified code, but different codes for different families. Certainly, loyalty was at the heart of all of it. After all, ‘samurai’ comes from the word ‘to serve.’”

Samurai could also be disloyal, as illustrated by Mitsuhide Akechi’s assassination of his lord, Nobunaga, in the 16th century, and wantonly cruel. The term tsujigiri, which literally translates as “crossroads killing,” can refer to the act of testing a new katana sword on defenseless passersby. Bushi were also enthusiastic about headhunting and taking young male lovers, practices that receive little modern attention.

But samurai were nothing if not visually appealing. Blair’s book is lavishly illustrated with more than 250 images of swordsmen in armor, from woodblock prints and contemporary films to anime and video games. It’s a powerful visual history of the evolution of the warrior into modern times.

Even though the samurai system was dismantled in the 1870s, it left a cultural template for the rise of Japan as an imperial—and then economic—power. And while anything to do with samurai was banned after World War II, they have been rehabilitated over time. Today, samurai are again held up as an aspirational ideal by everyone from sports stars to businesspeople.

TAC Talk: Gavin Blair • January 25 • 7–8pm • Toko Shinoda & Yukiko Maki classrooms • ¥1,650 (guests: ¥1,980) • Sign up online

JANUARY | 17 indepth history
Image: Yoshifuji Utagawa’s woodblock print of 14th-century samurai Masashige Kusunoki at Chihaya Castle

The British School in Tokyo (BST) provides a through education for students aged from three to 18, and particular care is given to its youngest learners. The preschool section, Nursery for three-year-olds and Reception for four-year-olds, uses the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) of the British education system as its curriculum.

At the BST preschool, the maximum class size is 20 for Nursery and Reception, and each class has one teacher and one education assistant. Experienced educators track, plan and tailor learning opportunities for children in each class to ensure they progress in all curriculum areas. The play-based approach that the preschool employs allows young children to have fun, make friends, cooperate, learn about the world and develop essential reading, writing and mathematics skills.

EYFS schooling is dedicated to promoting young children’s social, emotional, academic and physical development and focuses on seven areas:

} Personal, social and emotional development

} Communication and language

} English

} Mathematics

} Physical development

} Understanding the world

} Expressive arts and design

Off to a Brilliant Start

At The British School in Tokyo, early education takes center stage

BST’s early education is also informed by Reggio Emilia principles and, in keeping with this philosophy, children’s views and interests shape the learning process in outdoor and indoor settings. Children are also encouraged to bring in and talk about books or items of interest related to what they are studying.

A high-quality Early Years provision, like that at BST, leads to improved academic results further up the school and improved physical and emotional health as students grow into adulthood.

BUILDING ON STRONG FOUNDATIONS

From age 5, students will enter Year 1 automatically and are able to transition all the way through to Year 13, when they will be 18 years old. Their educational journey prepares them for entrance into the best universities around the globe.

BST provides a truly holistic education, and it is a place where students learn in and outside of the classroom. Students have ample opportunity to develop their interests and talents, with music, sports,

art and drama being particularly strong at the school.

In August 2023, at the start of the 2023–24 academic year, BST will open its new primary school campus in one of Tokyo’s most exciting urban developments, Mori Building’s iconic Toranomon-Azabudai Project. The new campus, which is just around the corner from the Club’s Azabudai location, will serve students from Nursery to Year 6 (11 years old), and it will have a distinct look and feel that is in keeping with its impressive surroundings.

Designed by the renowned architects Thomas Heatherwick Studios, the 15,000-square-meter campus is spread over seven floors above the ground, including a roof garden, and one subterranean floor. The campus will contain outstanding and extensive facilities unmatched in central Tokyo and offer a learning environment where young minds can thrive.

www.bst.ac.jp

Sakurada Dori

18 | INTOUCH advertorial

TIME TRAVEL

materials. Most seemed to be either behind glass in the Membership Office or tucked away in desk drawers or random corners of the building.

In trying to learn more, I set a personal goal to build a Club archive in the Library. The seeds of the exhibition launching this month in the Frederick Harris Gallery were planted.

Before working at the Club , I was an assistant in the local history department of the Grand Rapids Public Library in Michigan. There, in the city where I grew up, I assisted visitors with their research requests. These ranged from locating original images of an old home or digging up a relative’s obituary to digitizing historic postcards or answering genealogical questions.

Every day, I learned new things about my hometown. My favorite thing about the job was how, bit by bit, I acquired a sort of time-travel vision. I began to see the streets where I grew up in a different light. There were remnants of the past everywhere, in the buildings and urban planning. It felt like I was exploring a new city, repeatedly, without ever having to go anywhere. Each visitor added a new dimension to my hometown. After a year in the position, I was inspired to pursue a master’s degree with a specialization in archives and digital content management.

When I started working at the Club five years ago, I was shocked to find so little history on our walls, particularly with our centenary set for 2028. I began to make regular inquiries into the whereabouts of the Club’s historic

But local history research here can be uniquely challenging. The Club has had five “homes” since 1928 (including the new hub in Nihonbashi), and, with each move, things were lost or discarded. With the devastation of Tokyo during World War II (when the Club was forcibly shut), trying to find prewar documents has proved difficult.

But every few months, a colleague or Member finds something of interest and donates it to our growing archive. Sometimes an item answers a vital question, such as why the Club was started in the first place. Other times, it’s just amusing, like a photo from the 1950s of six adult Members dressed as pirates wrestling in the pool.

Each artifact adds more to our story and answers nagging questions, including why there is a piece of the original Imperial Hotel outside Traders’ Bar, far from the famous hotel’s original location, which was close to the first American Club, or why that granite “origin of Japan” monument is just outside our Azabudai property (the Naval Observatory was established there in 1874).

This exhibition aims to showcase all these interesting facts and backstories, ensure they’re available for all Members to see and preserve our heritage for future generations.

Tokyo American Club: Through the Years • January 17–February 6 • Frederick Harris Gallery • Details on page 11

In helping to curate an exhibition on the Club’s history, Library manager Drew Damron reveals what he learned along the way.
JANUARY | 19 indepth exhibition

COOKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

Members share why the bimonthly Nihonbashi Chef’s Table dinner more than satisfies.

20 | INTOUCH indepth dining

As long as they focus on the theme, I let them create.”

That’s the no-nonsense direction Yasuharu Nakajima gives his cadre of kitchen talents before they fire up the stoves for the bimonthly Nihonbashi Chef’s Table.

The chef de cuisine’s multinational team throws paint all over the proverbial canvas, developing a multicourse experience for a small group of Members in the American Room’s private dining space.

It’s a simple concept elevated to high art: six or seven chefs, each crafting a dish that reflects their personality and creative oeuvre. When each course is served, its creator explains to diners the idea behind it and how the ingredients tell the story of their culinary roots.

In a standard omakase chef’s selection, each dish leads seamlessly to the next, but the Nihonbashi Chef’s Table is more improvisational jazz than culinary symphony. It’s Nakajima’s theme—be it a straightforward concept like Thanksgiving or a more abstract idea like “colors”—that holds everything together.

Whether crafting a palate-cleansing amusebouche, a statementmaking entrée or a meal-punctuating dessert, the chefs are encouraged to put their own spin on it.

discourse and repartee. And the wine, paired with each dish by the Club’s sommelier, Kyoko Ohno, ensures conversation flows.

“And you do get a lot of wine,” says Hartert with a laugh. “Your glass is always full. It just depends on how fast you want to drink it!”

This doesn’t mean teetotalers are excluded.

“I asked if they could serve non-alcoholic drinks, and they provided a mocktail pairing menu and a non-alcoholic Chardonnay,” says Hirayama, 27. “This has never happened to me before, so it was a very special experience.”

Hartert and Hirayama say the food was equally “amazing,” recalling a polenta-crusted crab cake with bisque aïoli, soy-mint chicken breast and a cloud-shaped citrus meringue tart as standout dishes.

Originally from Taiwan, Member Howard Ho was drawn to the Chef’s Table for both professional and personal reasons.

While “not a hardcore foodie,” he says he is always interested in “trying new culinary experiences.”

really topped

off were the wine pairings. They went so seamlessly well with the food.” –Howard Ho

“Sometimes it works, sometimes there is a clash,” says Antonio Villasmil, the Club’s services manager. “But it’s important to give the chefs that freedom.”

“The dishes are definitely individual,” Nakajima adds. “There’s less flow, it’s more up and down, so that’s why I oversee everything to make sure it still works.”

Belgian Member Renaud Hartert and his partner, Ayaka Hirayama, who spend much of their free time exploring Tokyo’s celebrated culinary scene, are fast becoming regulars at the bimonthly event.

“We are big fans of omakase, where we arrive at a restaurant and don’t really have a sense of what we’re going to see in front us,” says Hartert, 34. “And we enjoy small restaurants, where we can actually connect with the staff and chefs and have a discussion about the food.”

The Chef’s Table proved a perfect match for their tastes.

“We went once, we went twice,” says Hartert, “and now we are looking to go for a third time.”

Intimate, with a maximum of eight diners, the Chef’s Table lends itself to engaging

“I’d heard so many good things about the Nihonbashi Club that my wife and I decided to give the Chef’s Table a go,” says Ho, 39. “The food was clearly very thoughtfully curated.”

Ho heaps praise on a coffee-crusted tenderloin steak, prepared Chicago style (charred on the surface and cooked to the desired doneness inside) and inspired by the Earth, Wind & Fire song “September.” He enjoyed the dish so much that he asked the kitchen to replicate it for a dinner with business clients.

“But all [the chefs] had pretty unique stories and were able to infuse elements of their childhood meals and experiences into the dishes,” he says. “And what really topped it all off were the wine pairings. They went so seamlessly well with the food.”

Nakajima insists that facilitating creativity is key to the success of the dinner. But Villasmil believes the chef de cuisine’s influence goes further.

“Sometimes dishes are way outside the box, and I have doubts,” he says. “But [Nakajima] always sticks to his guns and says, ‘Let’s give it a try.’ And most of the time he’s right. These guys are geniuses in the kitchen.”

Nihonbashi Chef’s Table

• January 17 • 6pm • Private Dining Room

• ¥15,500 (guests: ¥18,800) • Details online

(l–r) American Room chefs Jerard Untalan, Yasuharu Nakajima and Nobuhiro Fujiwara
JANUARY | 21
“What
it all

CHALLENGES

The Club’s representative governor explains why he’s excited about the year ahead.

22 | INTOUCH indepth governance

It was never going to be a quiet year for Jesse Green. In his first term as the Club’s representative governor in 2022, he and the Board of Governors were faced with the daunting task of reinvigorating Club life after two debilitating years of the pandemic.

Reselected to lead the Board for another one-year term in November, Green discusses the challenges and achievements of last year and what new initiatives Members can expect to see over the coming months.

What did you learn from your first year as representative governor?

Green: I had every expectation that I would be partnering with management, working with the Board, setting direction, aligning committees and getting us pointed in the right direction while breaking down silos and getting the Club to be less bureaucratic. All of that took far more work than I anticipated. Also, until last year, I never understood the amount of work involved in trying to make change in an organization like ours. Why is that? Because everybody in the organization is as much a Member as they are an owner or stakeholder. So, ultimately, how do we introduce change without upsetting others in the process? It requires a lot of consideration and conversation.

What would you have done differently?

Green: The only thing I would have done a little differently was to encourage more strategic discussions throughout the year to measure our performance and see where we should be focusing our attention. That’s something I would like us to do this year.

Last year, you wanted to focus on improving Club dining and reinvigorating the Club’s sense of community. How would you grade yourself in those two areas?

Green: In dining, we’ve made tremendous progress, and we’ve got a long way to go. I said at the beginning of last year that I wanted to see distinctive outlets with distinctive menus, and I think we’re about 75 percent of the way there. Let’s call it a B-minus. Early this year, we will focus on American Bar & Grill and Vista. We still don’t have a finalized approach for CHOP on the third floor, but we will have an idea of the direction this year. As for community, it’s a tough one. Covid continued to hamstring us well through the summer, and there were days when we were close to having to shut some of our operations because so many of our employees were sick. That really hindered our ability to start rebuilding a sense of community. I would say that started to change in September with our Texas-themed First Friday. I think people are coming back to the Club, and there is more comfort around Covid. I would give ourselves a C-plus to

B-minus. But there is a huge amount of runway for us to continue to improve that.

What did you take away from September’s membership survey?

Green: I think the membership is happy with the direction we are moving in. We have restored a significant amount of the value that was lost during Covid, and satisfaction is at an all-time high. The net promoter score has recovered, but it’s not at the level it was in 2019. There is still plenty of opportunity for improvement. As I have grown fond of saying, this is a journey with no destination.

The Club concluded a refinancing of its loan last year. How important was that?

Green: The financial health of the organization is in a far, far better place than it was in 2021 or 2022. We’re not going to diminish our focus in that area, but it’s no longer as much of a concern as it used to be. Operationally speaking, we have significant cost containment that needs to happen. That’s not cost cutting. We have to make serious decisions about how we spend our money and when.

What other areas will the Board focus on this year?

Green: Events. Our events are a long way from where they need to be. But I will say that the events team and the Culture, Community & Entertainment Committee are extraordinarily committed to understanding the wants and needs of our membership. I’m really excited to see what they come up with. Last year, we asked ourselves whether we were utilizing our recreational operations as effectively as possible. We introduced outdoor workout equipment in O-Zone, and we are planning an upgrade for the Fitness Center. But we want to drive a health and wellness strategy for everyone, from our youth to our middle-aged Members with niggles to our older folks focused on mobility. We will also put together a long-range planning task force to look at where we want to be in three, five, 10 years from now.

What about the Nihonbashi Club?

Green: There is enormous potential still there and enormous potential for more collaboration between Azabudai and Nihonbashi, so it feels more like one club.

How will the Board approach this year as opposed to last year?

Green: Last year was tactical. This year is strategic. We will focus on high-level priorities in events and community, health and wellness, food and beverage and long-range planning. We will select three or four priorities within those areas then work together with management and committees to achieve them.

CHANGE

&
JANUARY | 23

GoConnect 2.0 launches in the new year! Partner with Japan’s only English-language digital marketplace. Join now to help grow your business in Japan!

Partner offers get prominent promotion and access to thousands of subscribers who receive our weekly newsletters

We promote your business across our growing social media channels: FB, IG & LI Stories let you spread the word about your product and service solutions

Gain valuable real-time insights into how your offer is performing with precise analytics and user demographics

Assign multiple team admins to manage your business page

Are you ready to expand your reach to Japan’s global bilingual community? GET STARTED HERE

YOUR PARTNER TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS
Makes it easier for you to upload and update your offer anywhere, anytime
These new features will help your business thrive:

Transformed Fitness

Fitness is a central part of my life, and something I represent every day through my work with [obstacle race organizer] Spartan Race. But getting to this point required a bit of unexpected motivation.

When the Tohoku earthquake struck in 2011, my husband was working and I was out alone with our three young kids. I couldn’t physically manage them all in the midst of a disaster, and I realized that I needed to be in better shape. That was my big shock-and-awe moment.

My best friend at the time was very fit, and she said, “Emily, we’re going to the Imperial Palace today, and all I ask is that you do one lap.” That’s 5 kilometers. I said, “I can’t.” She took off and left me standing there. And then I did it. That’s all it took. I was hooked.

Fast forward five years and another key moment happened at the Club when I met the CEO and founder of Spartan Race, Joe De Sena, who is also a Member. He was looking for people to help bring Spartan to Japan and heard that I had been involved in promoting this type of race.

As I represent an endurance sporting brand, staying fit is important for the job. I have to look the part. I’m 47, and while age is irrelevant in my industry, when it comes to fitness, you either use it or lose it.

An even bigger motivation is the mental and cardio benefit, and how exercise makes an enormous difference in my day. When I work out in the morning, I feel awake, energized and have a massive sense of achievement. If I miss the workout, I kind of beat myself up all day and feel really flat.

But fitting it into my schedule with three kids and work requires discipline. So I set aside 9am to 10am and take part in a class with a group called “Urban Heroes,” which includes other Club Members and trainers.

I know how hard it is going to be every time and my brain tries to talk me out of it. If I’m running late, I start finding reasons why

I can just skip it. Having that social support is important for keeping me on track.

Of course, you could e-mail me the list of exercises and I could go through them, but it wouldn’t be the same. I’d put in half the effort, do half the reps. Having others there makes all the difference. With the trainers watching you, there’s accountability.

The most important thing you have in life is health, and it’s something you need to work on at any stage of life. My role models are the older women I see doing exceptional things, like women in their 70s running Spartan races.

And thinking back to the day of the earthquake, sometimes people just need a critical event. Thanks to that moment—and my friend’s encouragement—I ended up with better health and a job I love.

As told to INTOUCH’s C Bryan Jones.

Emily Downey LOUISE ANGERER
Natural disaster proved the starting point for a drastic change in lifestyle for Member Emily Downey.
JANUARY | 25 community wellness
“When I work out in the morning, I feel awake, energized and have a massive sense of achievement.”
i n y o u r o w n s k i n F e e l c o m f o r t a b l e T h e o n l y c l i n i c i n J a p a n r u n b y a U. S . b o a r d - c e r t i fi e d p l a s t i c s u r g e o n . Book a consultation with our bilingual professionals today laser hair removal (one-time offer) 50% OFF PL A Z A PLA S TIC S U RGER Y Hiroo 5-5-1-4F, Shibuya-ku | 03-5475-2345 | p l a z a c lin i c n e t & reconstructive surgery graduate oard of Plastic Surgery certified • American Society of Plastic Surgeons member Dr. Robert K. Kure  Botox
removal, hyperhidrosis,
 Ultherapy, Titan,
IPL  Mole, tattoo,
 Liposuction,
 Facelift,
 Laser
broken
 Foreign insurance accepted H IT O M I D E N TA L O F F IC E A K A S A K A Akasaka Roy al Plaza 2F
H IT O M I D E N TA L O F F IC E EDOGAWABASHI Asahi
treatments (wrinkle
migraines)
Laser Genesis,
skin blemish removal
mesotherapy (fat-dissolving injection)
breast augmentation/reduction
(for tattoos, hair removal,
veins)
2-13-8 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052
Sekiguchi Mansion 1F 1-24-6 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0014

Arrivals

AZABUDAI

INDIA |

Barclays Securities Japan Ltd.

“We moved to Tokyo after having lived in Hong Kong and Singapore. Arriving in the middle of Covid, and with two children, we ended up not socializing. Now with things returning to normalcy, we do hope to mingle and make use of the excellent facilities at the Club. We hope to spend most weekends hanging out at the Sky Pool, Library or the Jungle Gym.”

AUSTRALIA

AZABUDAI

USA

Gregory & Yuka Adams

Aston Martin Japan

Christopher & Sandi Heiser Woven Planet Holdings, Inc.

Junko Hemus Pink Clover

Fernando & Katherine Kondayen Nike, Inc.

Frances & Katsusuke Kuzui Suite B

Kerem & Natsuki Over Nike, Inc.

Andy & Rie Rubin

Simple Things

Russell Saito Touchdown K.K.

Scott & Marianne Scharf

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Co., Ltd.

Andrew Tran & Elizabeth Lui Swiss Re Asia Pte. Ltd., Japan Branch

Keith & Kaori Williams

David & Laura Wright MUFG

Sean & Haruka McCarthy UBS Securities Japan Co., Ltd.

BRAZIL

Gabriela Rosa & Alexandre Bigarella Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Japan Co., Ltd.

INDIA

Shikha Mahajan & Mridul Saxena Philip Morris International, Japan

Abhishek & Neeru Abhishek Modi Modi Diamonds Co., Ltd.

Rupinder Singh DAZN Japan Investment G.K.

JAPAN

Kanae Ishibashi Ueno Gakuen Educational Foundation

LATVIA

Andzejs Kasevskis & Lingyan Dai Embassy of Latvia

SWITZERLAND

Matthias Leibundgut & Isabelle Seiler Roche Diagnostics K.K.

NIHONBASHI

JAPAN | Tetsuya “Terry” Hayashiguchi

GLP Capital Partners Japan

“As a startup investor, I often require a quiet, secure place where I can meet entrepreneurs over a coffee, a meal or drinks. The Club is just that—and it is also an excellent place in which to relax during the day or after work with family and friends. I am excited to become a Member of this community, and I look forward to exploring all that the Club offers.”

TAIWAN

Changyu Chen & Ai Nakao Luminous Productions

UK

Duncan & Taeko Harrison JAC International Co., Ltd.

NIHONBASHI

USA

Gerald Banks & Lydia Hunt Cipher Technologies Management LP

Glenn Fischer Proteus Global Solutions G.K.

Michael Pearce TL Pearce Distillery

Taylor Martin NuBee, Inc.

JAPAN

Rion Aoki AnyCareer, Inc.

Yoshihiro (Hiro) Hyakutome Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Megumi Kumabe GlaxoSmithKline K.K.

Shin Mukaikubo Knorr-Bremse Steering System Japan

Tsutomu Okubo CUBICStars

Kohei Sato Momo-o, Matsuo & Namba

Hajime Ueda Nomura Research Institute Ltd. Takashi Yuri Techmatrix Corporation

SINGAPORE

Gavin Foo KGBVEBLEN Pte., Ltd. (KGBV Co., Ltd.)

Departures

David Bennett

Bruno & Seito De Britto

Michael Hunter & Karen Dobbie

Taro Kuryuzawa

Terrence Roberts

Tamayo Tanuma

Hiroshi & Toshiko Watanabe

Kazumasa Yamada

Taizo Son & Seia Lee

Rajeev Mall

Naveen Prakash Sharma & Sneha Singh Image: Sneha Singh and Naveen Prakash Sharma Image: Tetsuya Hayashiguchi
JANUARY | 27 community register

CREATIVE INTERIOR DESIGN FOR YOUR WORKPLACE & HOME

ONE DESIGNS will work with you to create a professional and interactive space for your residence and workplace, to provide the best environment to achieve your goals. We offer innovative solutions for new office and residential construction and renovation, hospitality areas, and retail space, as well as creative, original designs featuring carefully curated materials and the highestquality furniture and furnishings.

Our English-speaking staff is always available to assist you in all areas of design planning and consultation, and we look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

TOKYO OFFICE

Ryoshin Onarimon Bldg. 7F 6-17-15 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: +81 (0)3 6758 3535

For more information, please email: post-onesd@koyou.co.jp www.koyou-onesd.co.jp/en

03-3584-6171 sun@sunrealty.co.jp sunrealty.co.jp Luxury Homat properties for expats in Tokyo
since it was established in 1954, Sun Realty has been the exclusive agent for Homat properties. These apartments are spacious units
featuring
They are designed to meet the discerning tastes of expat
and
locations. homathomes.co.jp
Ever
like none other,
beautiful Western–Japanese mixed interiors.
families,
situated in Tokyo’s best

What do you mean leave it blank?” I incredulously asked my art teacher as we sat in the grounds of a tranquil temple outside Tokyo.

I was sketching a garden of spider lilies and stone statues. Having finished the main subjects, I wanted to fill the rest of the page with clouds, birds, trees and more. Why stop when I had so many colors with which to work?

“There’s no need to fill all the space,” my teacher urged me. “Leave something for the imagination.”

She was referring to the Japanese aesthetic of ma, or “negative space.” Much of Japanese culture values emptiness, restraint and nuance. These are elusive characteristics amid the sensory bombardment of Tokyo.

I also became fascinated by the deceivingly “simple” arrangements of ikebana, with the art form’s asymmetry and empty spaces brilliantly accentuating just a few flowers.

Drawing a Blank

Even after so many years, I haven’t tired of observing how people dress while commuting on the train or walking by the Meguro River. In contrast to the Instagram feeds of Western fashion icons, filled with flash, bling and exposed skin, Tokyoites wear the plainest of neutral clothes from head to toe and rarely don patterns or pops of color.

In my world, culture, style and language are usually straightforward and saturated. Messages are clearly spelled out—often in all caps and exclamation points (OMG!).

After so many years living in Japan, magic happened when this concept of negative space finally clicked for me. Simplicity can be profound. Blank space can be rewarding. Emptiness drives home the message. I began to see ma nearly everywhere.

In contrast to the canvases of robust colors found in a typical Western art collection, the restrained elegance of many nihonga pieces, such as those at the Yamatane Museum of Art in Tokyo, drew me closer. Whereas the subject might occupy a tiny area of a scroll or screen, the blank space completes the scene. Not only does the emptiness draw my eye to the focal point, it compels me to contemplate.

Yet, despite these blank palettes, the combinations stand out somehow—the turned-up cuff, a structured shoulder, the fall of impossibly large pants, a subtle but clever message on an oversized sweatshirt. This nuanced sartorial style requires more intention and magically transforms the plain and simple into the architectural and inspired.

In the West, there's hardly any nuance in our “in-yourface” approach to communication. My emphatic, let-mespell-this-out-for-you way is no different, and I’m full of opinions and ideas.

Imagine my first meeting with a room of Japanese colleagues. After my energetic monologue, I took a breath and had the presence of mind to shut up because everyone else had fallen quiet. I noticed a tilt of a head, a downward glance and slightly blank looks. There it was. The emptiness. I called on my rusty skills of restraint and intuition as I leaned into the polite silence to glean its meaning.

JANUARY | 29 community voice

November

26

National Stadium Tour

Led by Olympic gold medalist Koji Murofushi, Members explored the National Stadium, the centerpiece venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

30 | INTOUCH community highlights
IMAGES

December 2 Holiday Tree Lighting

Families crowded into the Winter Garden as the Club “switched on” Christmas with complimentary drinks and festive sounds from the Grace Handbell Choir.

JANUARY | 31
IMAGES YUUKI IDE

December 2 Bonenkai Bash

With the holiday lights sparkling, Members celebrated the season with an evening of drinks, buffet eats and holiday hits from local singing sensation Aisha.

32 | INTOUCH
IMAGES YUUKI IDE
community highlights

December 5 Jingle & Mingle

Jazz singer Naomi Grace returned to entertain Connections members with a performance of Christmas classics at the group’s traditional year-end luncheon.

JANUARY | 33
IMAGES

December 10 Santa’s Winter Garden Wonderland

Jolly Saint Nick found a gap in his busy schedule to drop by the Club to meet excited children, hear their Christmas wish lists and pose for photo keepsakes.

34 | INTOUCH community highlights

December

10

Family Christmas Show

For the first time since 2019, this festive fixture returned to the Club calendar with a Grinch-inspired show of magic, comedy and plenty of Christmas cheer.

JANUARY | 35
IMAGES YUUKI IDE

Fighting Fit

Class Imi Krav Maga

Krav maga might not be one of the most famous martial arts, but the Israeli form of self-defense is used by security forces around the world. In this class, ages 12 and above learn defensive moves, strikes and breathing techniques while building coordination, self-reliance and confidence.

Instructor Boaz Hagay

A certified instructor in krav maga, aikido, shiatsu and general sports and fitness, Boaz Hagay studied under Imi Lichtenfeld, the Hungarianborn Israeli creator of krav maga. This experience gave him a unique understanding of the martial art’s history, techniques and philosophy.

Student Steven Bass

“A chance meeting with Boaz-sensei provided me the opportunity to start training with him. Four years later, I believe the training has changed me for the better and I am grateful to him. The classes provide a good physical workout, and the skills learned strengthen self-confidence.”

16
Room
up online
Imi Krav Maga • January 10–March
• 6:30–8pm • Activity
I • ¥44,550 • Sign
IMAGE KAYO YAMAWAKI
36 | INTOUCH community pursuit
Image: Steven Bass and Boaz Hagay

A new base for expanding your business to Japan

Tokyo Ryutsu Center

Distribution Bldg.A

At the end of August 2023, the new Distribution Bldg. A will be completed at the Tokyo Ryutsu Center in Ota-ku, Tokyo. The building is about 10 minutes from Haneda Airport and 15 minutes from Tokyo Station, and its logistics facility will enable tenants to choose from a wide range of unit sizes—up to an entire floor—which can accommodate offices as well as storage and logistics centers.

+ 81 (0)3 – 3767– 2121 6-1-1 Heiwajima, Ota-ku, Tokyo 143-0006 | Email: eigyo@trc-inc.co.jp www.trc-logistics-building-a.jp /pdf / A-panf_english.pdf
Get in touch to see how we can support your business's success in Japan.

The essence of urban living

Featuring expansive, panoramic views of the city, luxuriously appointed units designed with the utmost comfort in mind, and common areas that feel like natural extensions of your living space, Toranomon Hills Residential Tower o ers a new way to experience life in Tokyo. Newly completed one- to fi ve-bedroom units available for lease.

Renderings are based on blueprints from the planning stage of the project and actual objects, colors, and other details may differ. Furniture, furnishings, art, etc. in shared facilities are subject to change and use of facilities are subject to management rules; some will require a reservation and/or a fee for use.

毎月一回一日発行 第四十七巻六九三号 トウキョウアメリカンクラブ インタッチマガジン二〇二三年一月一日発行 平成三年十二月二十日第三種郵便物許可定価八00円 本体七二八円
Toranomon Hills Residential Tower
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.