Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

This is Mr. Watanabe (we call him "Wanchan") who is the head doorman at the Hotel Okura. He's always very friendly. I met him on his first day on the job as a bell boy when I as probably around 10 years old or so. My mother was doing a lot of work in Japan for ECD and we stayed at the Hotel Okura. I hung out at the game center and with the staff. I remember even eating in the staff restaurant "behind the scenes" at the hotel. Mr. Watanabe showed me the secret doors and stuff and even took me to watch the Hotel Okura baseball team when he was a pitcher there. We've both grown up since then. I helped him find a cheap computer for his son when he was going to college and he makes sure I get free parking in front of the hotel.

Anyway, if you see him, say "Hi Wanchan!" and tell him you saw him on my blog. ;-)

1 Comment

I once had the privilege of staying at the Okura - usually I stayed in less grand accomodations, but I was travelling with John Sculley that trip. I remember Watanabe-san because he treated me so well. I was a foolish young man and carried no umbrella in January (duh!)in Tokyo. Watanabe-san made sure that I not only had an umbrella, but made sure I got it in way as to never embarass me in front of my Shachoo. He's a superhero in my book!