Kuramoto Diary #535 -【The Grand Opening Ceremony of DASSAI BLUE Sake Brewery in New York】
Perhaps some of you may already know from the news, but we successfully held the opening party of the DASSAI BLUE Brewery in Hyde Park on September 23rd.
Despite the unfortunate rain on the day, it didn't turn into the feared storm, and we managed to finish the event amidst light rain. We had 450 guests from Japan, the United States, and around the world, and it became a party filled with everyone's smiles. We sincerely thank everyone.
Undoubtedly, there were many shortcomings. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Ambassador Mori of the NY Consulate General and all the guests who took the time to attend. Thank you very much to everyone who came from Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and all over the world, as well as those from various parts of the United States, local residents of New York, and those who came from all over Japan, including Yamaguchi, Iwakuni City, and Shuto Town, showing us smiles and saying, 'We came.'
I haven't properly thanked President Sakamoto, who rushed from Miyazaki holding caviar to liven up the party. I also haven't directly thanked Mr. Abe of Abento, who performed the tuna cutting show. Above all, I'm not confident whether I was able to thank everyone who participated in the party. I apologize for any rude or insufficient expressions of gratitude and thank those who still celebrated with us for their generosity.
The party was covered by many media outlets, especially on television, including NHK and most private broadcasting stations' news programs, so many of you may have seen it. Especially Fuji TV even made a drama about my embarrassing life story!! (I had requested Masuo Kusakari to play my role, but it didn't happen. Of course, it's natural. (What a shameless request!) Of course, thank you for the special feature on WBS, the long-awaited public relations personnel of each company.
Also, the host Junko Kubo was fantastic. In the difficult conditions of not having a dressing room or waiting room, she hosted the event, and I felt the venue brighten up when she appeared. Above all, personally, I was happy to meet the admired Kubo Jun again (Hey hey!).
However, I made a terrible mistake at that joyful opening party. This time, Mr. Hirokane, familiar with the role of 'Consultant(Advisor) Kousaku Shima,' somehow adjusted his super tight schedule and came to the New York opening party, bringing with him fans and acquaintances of the editorial staff at Kodansha. Even Mr. Masanarita, the CG modeler of Star Wars, rushed over in friendship, and the Americans he met were astonished and impressed.
However, unbelievably, despite asking Mr. Hirokane, this eminent figure, to do a mirror-breaking ceremony, I made a huge blunder by refusing his appearance in the middle of it. The staff, not understanding the importance of the situation, and with unexpected VIPs from the American side, decided to refuse Mr. Hirokane's appearance. I regret it deeply, and it was an inexcusable mistake. Why didn't they whisper a word to me? It was an unavoidable failure.
Carelessly, until just before the appearance, I, who had been sitting at the speaker's table with guests like Ambassador Mori, talking together, didn't notice that Mr. Hirokane was not on the stage. Later, when I heard about it, I hurriedly tried to apologize and find the professor, but by then, he had already left the venue.
Actually, the surprise came later. I received a message from someone who had come with the professor. Surprisingly, it was a message expressing concern for me, explaining the situation. Just before the appearance, our staff whispered to Mr. Hirokane, 'Please don't go up on the stage,' and he didn't. 'It's not that I decided on my own not to go up, so please don't take it the wrong way,' he said.
Normally, anyone would get angry at such a situation, saying, 'I can't forgive such rudeness.' Nevertheless, instead of expressing anger or caring about his own dignity, he showed consideration for us as the organizers. It was truly a remarkable incident.
In the end, I confess with shame that we were influenced by the American party planner, who said things like 'In America, you have to do it this way,' 'There are regulations for American parties, and you have to follow them,' and so on. Due to their claims, we were swayed, and the Japanese side had difficulty asserting itself, only following the superficial flow of the party's events. (It sounds like an excuse from Johnny's(boys music group owners) doesn't it?)
Anyway, about a month ago, they found out that the number of party registrants from Japan unexpectedly exceeded 300, and at that point, they came to Japan and traveled to New York, reserving expensive air tickets and outrageously expensive New York hotels for the 150 visitors who came, saying things like 'reduce the number' and 'it's not interesting if the Japanese media gets exposure first, so restrict coverage of the party.'
Unfortunately, due to such distractions, there was no deep sharing between the staff and us about the essential meaning of the party.
In that regard, we truly apologize to Mr. Hirokane. We will find a way to make up for this big mistake. If there is any event of the Mr. Hirokane, someone from the brewery will always attend with a bottle of sake. Although that might not be enough.
It was truly an event that made me feel the greatness and depth of Mr. Hirokane as a person.