While I am not Catholic and may not have agreed with some of the positions Pope John Paul II took, I respected him. May he rest in peace.

Last night, my APA alumni group sponsored a group to see “China Doll,” presented by the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. The play is described as a “reimagining” of the life of Anna May Wong, an Asian American pioneer in the Hollywood of the 1920’s to the 1950’s. Switching back and forth between the memories and the fantasies of Wong and replaying of Wong’s movies , with appearances by her contemporaries, like Douglas Fairbanks, Marlene Dietrich. Fascinating portrayal of ironies – Wong was considered too Asian to be doing serious leading roles, yet too American to be Asian. The play tended to be too wordy (a playwrite’s literary work), but I thought it was interesting to see how theater would try to be very cinematic, with the minimal prop/scenery. We were also treated to an illuminating Q&A with the director and cast.

Losing an hour, no thanks to Daylight Savings. More light, less time. Eh.

Road Show

Sunday morning: subway to Roppongi to attend a mass at the Fransciscan Center in memory of the Pope. Meet P’s friend M in Ginza. Drove to Uneo to see the cherry blossom festival and view the Tokyo National Museum, where P bought an authentic wood cut print. Drive to another undisclosed location where we had tempura donburi, aka fried battered foods on rice. We parked at a garage where the car is put on a carosel and then put into a computerized elevator. Visited another temple site were we all received bad fortunes. Went to the 100 Yen Plaza, the Japanese equivilent to our 99 cent stores, where we picked up instant ramen, drinks and unusual cotton swabs with ear wax scrapers. Went up to the top of Tokyo Tower, which is basically a 100 m version of the Eiffel Tower. Good views though. Hello Kitty tourist trap on the ground floor. Went back to the hotel tired and beat, and hoping for sushi in the morning.