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Early Summer Party, The Ambassador’s Residence, British Embassy

Friday, May 11th, 2007 (18:30 – 21:00)
By kind invitation of C&O President and British Ambassador to Japan, Sir Graham Fry, and Lady Toyoko Fry

Footage of the 2007 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race will be shown at 20:30.

Dress: Lounge suits
Charge: 3,000 yen for one person/5,000 yen per couple (to be paid in advance—account details will be sent to those who register; no-shows will not be refunded.)

As numbers are limited for this event, members are allowed to invite only one guest each; applications will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. If you would like to attend, please contact Tim Minton (t[dot]minton[at]Camford[dot]org) by 25th April. Please supply the following information: your name and that of your guest if you wish to bring one; your university/college; your daytime telephone number.

2007 C&O Annual Golf Tournament, Saturday, 31 March, 2007

Oxford draw level in varsity competition

On Saturday March 31st, twelve C&O members exhibiting a wide range of golfing prowess gathered once again at the Hodogaya Country Club in Yokohama to take part in the varsity competition and enjoy a day at one of Japan’s oldest and most exclusive courses.

Conquering a tricky breeze, Yasuzo Takeno (Worcester, Oxford) scored a net 75 that secured him first place by one stroke over Alex Miller (Somerville, Oxford), while in the varsity competition a strong all-round performance by the dark blues gave them a clear 14-stroke victory. The varsity competition now stands at 15 wins apiece since 1989 (the period for which records are available).

The fairways and greens were in good condition and the competition was held against a fine backdrop of early-flowering cherry trees and the usual friendly welcome from all at the Hodogaya club. Rain threatened at times but the weather stayed fair throughout the round. During morning play Simon Dalby (Trinity Hall, Cambridge) shot an inspiring 38 (gross) but during the afternoon, as the breeze freshened and the temperature dropped, for most players the greens became a little harder to find and scores fell off a little.

As ever, Terry Nakamura ensured that all arrangements went smoothly and we would also like to particularly thank Hodogaya members Takashi Uyeno and Peter Itoh for inviting us to their club for the day.

The next C&O golf tournament is scheduled to take place at the Windsor Park Golf and Country Club in Ibaraki Prefecture on Saturday 20th October.

John Sunley

Golf Outing to the Izu Peninsula - 28/29 Oct 2006

Golf Outing to the Izu Peninsula
Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October

Accommodation at Ryokan Renaissance Ochiai; golf match at Izu Ohito CC.

Dinner at The Tokyo Club

A seated dinner was organised at The Tokyo Club on Thursday, 19th October. The bar opened at 6:15 pm, an hour before dinner. Twenty-five gentlemen and six ladies enjoyed a full-course French dinner, accompanied by good Claret, Châteaux Cadillac 2003, the Club’s house wine, lasting 2 hours. Three new members were introduced: Pedro da Costa (Balliol, Oxford, 2000 and Wolfson, Cambridge, 2006), Daniel Gallimore (Christ Church, Oxford, 1984 and Linacre, Oxford, 1997) and Alex Miller (Somerville, Oxford, 1997).

Hors-d’Oeuvre Variés
Consommé Madarilène
Filet de Daurade poêlé Beurre blanc
Tournedos Nichette, Légumes
Salade de Saison

Cost: 6,500 yen

The above dinner was just one of the Society’s monthly events organised as part of the 2nd half programme for 2006, i.e. it was not a special event, and no VIPs or senior visitors from the Universities were present. However, I think a few words about the Society’s relationship with The Tokyo Club would be appropriate.

The Tokyo Club, which was founded in May 1884, was in fact the birthplace of The Cambridge & Oxford Society, Tokyo. In the late 19th century, both Japanese and British graduates of the Universities used to get together in the Club’s bar, and at the turn of the century (probably in 1905) they agreed officially to found a joint club and to name it The Cambridge & Oxford Society. (If you would like to know why Cambridge came before Oxford, please read the history page of the Society’s website: Subsequently, The Tokyo Club became the main venue for the Society’s Annual Dinners and other informal activities until January 1942.

After the War, in February 1950, the C&O Society was reconstituted, and it was decided that its activities would take place at various locations in Tokyo. The membership at that time was relatively small and predominantly male. Since then, the Society has grown dramatically in size and now numbers almost 300 members, many of whom are, happily, lady graduates of both Universities. When Tokyo Club moved to new premises in Roppongi in June 2005, the rules were relaxed to allow ladies access as guests to the Club’s dining room and certain other function halls in the evening. The C&O Committee decided to take advantage of these changes in the rules to organise two dinners a year at this historical venue.

Posted in | Submitted by tim.minton on Wed, 2006-10-18 15:00.
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Overnight climb to the summit of Mt Fuji

The society decided to have an August event in 2006, in the form of a climb up Mount Fuji (3776m).

The group congregated at the Shinjuku Chuo bus terminal just before 11am and boarded the bus in good time. In spite of some traffic on the route (particularly on the approach to Mt Fuji) we arrived at the Yoshidaguchi 5th station just a little behind schedule at 1:45pm or so. The weather was intermittently sunny and cloudy, but we could see far up the mountain during breaks in the clouds.

Phil Robertson had taken another route and we decided to have some ramen for lunch while we waited for him to arrive.

After meeting up we set off from the 5th station at around 3pm. The weather started to close in as passed the 6th station and became rather unpleasant for an hour or so as we moved past the 7th station. Visibility dropped to a few feet with quite a fall in temperature too. There were some murmurs about whether the climb was really a good idea, but as the weather cleared up and we could see again everyone became happier. There was quite a crowd climbing the mountain so we had to queue up in several places which slowed down our ascent considerably.

After several hours of climbing it started to rain again just as we reached our mountain hut – the Fuji-san Hotel, between 8th and 9th stations somewhat after dark. The accommodation was basic but following a simple curry rice meal with some sake we all retired to the communal hut bunk beds.

The hut staff woke everyone up before 1:30am in the morning and we kitted up for the final climb to the summit. The weather was still difficult with scattered showers and mist. We left the hut for the top and joined the huge crowd for the final ascent. At times it seemed like Shibuya crossing, but eventually the summit was in sight and suddenly the cloud lifted giving a spectacular view across a clear sky to the horizon. There were cheers from the crowd as everyone took in the sunrise.

Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Fri, 2006-08-25 15:00.
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Special Event: Trek up Mt Fuji (overnight)

Special Event: Trek up Mt Fuji (overnight trip)

August 26/27 Sat/Sun

Party at Roppongi Hills Club

Party at Roppongi Hills Club
Arrangements made by Mr Ian Powell.

22 June 2006

Outing to Mt. Takao and Dinner at Ukai Toriyama

Outing to Mt. Takao and Dinner at Ukai Toriyama

May 27 Sat, (12:00 – 20:00)

Dinner at Nambu Tei, Hibiya Park

Dinner at Nambu Tei restaurant in Hibiya Park

Wednesday, 19 April 2006


Reminiscences of Doreen Simmons (Girton, 1950-53; Hughes Hall, 1953-54)
Joined January 28, 1976: 29 years a member

My introduction to the C & O came in the 1970s through the British Council, which at the time was housed on one floor of the Iwanami Building in Jimbocho. I had been working for over two years at the International Language Centre, which occupied the floors above and below, before somebody told me about the British Council's annual no-fuss "light" lunch for the C & O, consisting of an assortment of cheese and biscuits, and the mainstay, a delicious liver paté made in pottery bento containers by two or three Council wives from a recipe handed down for years by the wives of successive Representatives. I joined the Society on one of these occasions, on January 28, 1976. At another, two years later, I heard of a Japanese foundation looking for a native rewriter; after a succession of interviews I landed the job at the Foreign Press Center/Japan which is still my main employment and which completely changed the course of my life. The paté lunches were a great success until the wife of a new Rep. declared "We can do better than paté and cheese!" -- and indeed they did; a talented organizer and a forceful personality, she dragooned all the wives into assembling a vast hot meal of gourmet dishes. This so exhausted the ladies that they never hosted us again.

I have always felt comfortable in the company of people one or two generations older than myself. Perhaps it's because I'm five years older than my nearest cousins, so as a child I was accustomed to being in the company of my elders. Most of my early memories of the C & O are of long pleasant chats with dear old gentlemen -- and one or two ladies -- who went to Oxford or Cambridge round about the time I was born. Some are no longer with us; others are still alive and reaching for the record books in one capacity or another. Of these, without doubt the most important to me was Masayoshi Kakitsubo (Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1932-35). We shared an office at the Foreign Press Center for nearly nineteen years and never had a cross word; this was not the least of his achievements. He was a retired diplomat. One of his early assignments was to supervise the evacuation of the British Embassy at the outbreak of World War II, ferrying the diplomats to the Port of Yokohama in a fleet of taxis. He was also sent to take over the Australian Embassy but was kept waiting outside for a long time; when he finally got inside the boiler was almost red-hot -- they had been burning all their documents! During the War he was assigned to Subhas Chandra Bose as his English-Japanese interpreter. For this reason he was often interviewed in later life by foreign journalists, especially Indians. In the 1950s he had been Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations and for decades thereafter continued to be sent on missions to Geneva and elsewhere for disarmament conferences. Outside these activities he was one of the most undiplomatic people I have known, and his frankness was very refreshing. It was accepted that he would stay in harness at the FPC; from time to time people at the Gaimusho had tried to "tap him on the shoulder", but he was so far senior to all of them that they gave up discomfited. His mind remained sharp as a tack right to the end, though his body was beginning to wear out. He often said it was good to die quickly; and that is what he did, on January 3rd, 1997, six months short of his 90th birthday.

Posted in | Submitted by Doreen Simmons on Mon, 2005-02-28 15:00.
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