Hakuho, Noripi… “Gorgeous members” gathered at a famous mama’s party. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Hakuho, Noripi… “Gorgeous members” gathered at a famous mama’s party.

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Noripi smiles for the reporter’s camera (some images have been doctored).

I’ve been coming here for 17 years now, since I was 20 years old, every time I go to Hakata.

Congratulations on your 50th anniversary,” Miyagino Oyakata, former yokozuna Hakuho, told the reporter.

On October 3, Hakuho and the other top-ranked guests gathered in the Peacock Room of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward. More than 2,000 people attended the 50th anniversary party for Kazuko Todo, 75, who has run the Lindbergh’s stand bar and the exclusive Royal Box club in Hakata, Fukuoka, since 1970.

The 50th anniversary should have been two years ago, in the year 20,” she said. However, due to the new coronavirus, the party had to be postponed, and it was finally realized this year. Mama Todo was also friends with former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who died in a shooting incident in July. She was planning to address former Prime Minister Abe at the party if he were still alive” (one of the participants).

Names of the 76 founders

Hakuho poses for a photo with the participants. On the right is Mama Todo (some images have been doctored)

The founders of the party included celebrities from the worlds of politics, business, entertainment, and sports. The list of 76 people includes Sadaharu Oh, chairman of the Softbank baseball team; Davy Sukarno; kabuki actor and living national treasure Kikugoro Onoe; actress Kazuko Katou; and Nobuhiro Torii, president of Suntory. The audience also included singer Noriko Sakai, actress Reiko Takashima, TV personality Korokke, and other notables. Noripi responded to a reporter’s request, “Please give a message to Mama Todo.

I am from Fukuoka, just like Mom Todo. I often go to Kanazawa (Ishikawa Prefecture) for radio work, and there is a restaurant run by a woman who is Mama’s apprentice that I would like to visit.

Why is Mama Todo adored by so many celebrities? House of Councilors member Satsuki Katayama, who attended the party, told us.

I only get to visit Mama once every few years, but I’m drawn to her friendly but unpretentious personality. Her restaurant is the ‘nighttime Chamber of Commerce’ of Hakata. I can learn about the economic situation and business climate not only in Hakata but also in Kyushu from the conversations I have with Mama and her customers, who are excellent members of society. It’s also a place to learn.”

At the party, Mrs. Di performed an acrobatic dance and Croquette made the attendees laugh with his impersonations of Tetsuya Takeda and Masaharu Fukuyama. Former female staff members who gained experience at Mama Todo’s restaurant and left the nest also gathered from all over Japan to offer their congratulations. Mama Todo happily took the stage to express her gratitude.

She said, “I am very happy to have continued working here for 52 years. I thought I had to do it (the party) this year. But I had a lot of worries about whether the guests would come. Today, we had many moms and guests from Hokkaido to Okinawa! Thanks to all of you. I am very happy. Thank you.”

Mama Todo will continue to entertain customers and train staff in Hakata.

Mama Todo expresses her gratitude flanked by Tokuma Nishioka (right) and Reiko Takashima (left).
Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon awarded to Mama Todo in the name of former Prime Minister Abe
Noripi takes a commemorative photo with the participants in a friendly manner (some of the images have been processed)
Mrs. Devi shows off her acrobatic dance moves
Croquette made the audience laugh with her impersonations of Kenichi Mikawa and Takashi Hosokawa.
Hakuho answers a reporter’s question (image has been partially processed)
Noripi responding to a reporter (some images have been doctored)
The toast was given by journalist Yoshiko Sakurai.
  • Photographed by Keitaro Haga, Takayoshi Yamazaki

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