Launch for Forty Stories of Japan – Fifty people attended in Tokyo, Wed. Nov. 3, 2010
Ben’s Café in Takadanobaba, Tokyo – Writers came from overseas: Annette Green from Washington DC, Sue Turner-Cray from Santa Barbara, Mary King from Beijing and David Gilbey from Wagga Wagga, South Australia. It was a sunny autumn National Holiday (Bunka no Hi, Culture Day). Fifteen minutes before the start of the launch 10 copies of the eagerly anticipated student companion volume for “Glimpses of Old Tokyo”, the Workbook Exercises, were delivered by hand, hot off the presses, (thanks to Joe Zahedi, Printed Matter Press). Great timing! The author of “Glimpses”, Masuho Fujita arrived next.
At the door Beth collected the venue and drinks charge, and gave name tags to the writers. Allan Murphy manned the book sales table, while Ben’s Café owner, Yoshiko Toyama served food and poured celebration glasses of bubbly.
On David Gilbey’s suggestion, writers read short passages from their stories. “Elvis” by Sue Turner-Cray was much enjoyed. Naomi Arimura, whose email correspondence describing life in Tokyo was the origin of “Forty Stories”, read a humorous piece about asking for plastic glasses at a Christmas function (“A Japanese Xmas”). The readings were followed by a rousing rendition of Waltzing Matilda by David Gilbey, Jim Smiley accompanying him with cascading notes on his recorder. He also produced an unmistakable imitation of bagpipes on the same woodwind instrument.
A great launch! Thank you everyone who came to celebrate. Domo Arigato Ben’s Café!