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  • Chinese Raccoonkai in Beijing

    Last May 16, 2008, a Chinese Raccoonkai was held in Beijing. Atsumi Foundation Managing Directress Junko Imanishi, Zhao Qing (96 Raccoon), Sun Jianjun (02 Raccoon), Piao Zhenji (03 Raccoon) had a get-together. The Raccoonkai was held in two parts, one in the afternoon at a coffee shop, and another one while having dinner. Zhao Qin was only able to join the first part, while the other Raccoons were invited for dinner by Mr. Masamoto Yashiro, a Trustee of the Atsumi Foundation.

    From 3 to 4:30 PM, at the Bookstore Cafe near Beijing and Tsinghua Universities, a lively conversation transpired on how the times have been changing. From 6 to 8:30 in the evening, at the Hyatt Hotel in Beijing's Wangfujing district, over good food and wine, we talked about global affairs, Japan-China relations, China's splendid development, and the recent natural disasters and other breaking news. Although the topics were heavy, the mood was genial.

    One feature of this Raccoonkai was the presence of a guest. Mr. Yashiro was a former chairman of Shinsei Bank, and is a veteran in global financial affairs. He is 79 years old, but looks 50, and is an elegant person with a surprising vitality and memory. While being a consultant to China's Banking Supervisory Committee and Construction Bank, he is residing in Beijing and study Chinese. It is just a little over one year now, but he is now able to converse and write in Chinese. No less than a superman! Everyone was completely impressed and inspired to do well.

    It is always a pleasure to join a Raccoonkai. This one was even more enjoyable. I look forward to the next one.

    by Piao Zhenji, trans. By M. Maquito

    The photos can be found in the following URL.

  • KSR Dinner in Seoul

    On Saturday, April 19, 2008, at 6:00 pm, Korea Society of Racccoons (KSR) dinner was held in Nampo Myonok Restaurant in Seoul.

    The Ten people who got together were: AISF Director Junko Imanishi, Lee Nae Chan (KSR President, 1996 Raccoon), Nam Ki Jeong (1996 Raccoon), Hong Kyung Jin (1999 Raccoon), Ko Hee Tak (2000 Raccoon), Lee Hyun Young (2001 Raccoon), Park Young June (2002 Raccoon), Chae Sang Heon (2003 Racccoon), Han Kyoung Ja (2003 Raccoon) and Hyun Seung Soo (2006 Raccoon)

    Displayed on the walls of this Pyongan-do restaurant with 40-year history are the signatures of prominent politicians including: Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Senator Chung Mong-Joon, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon. Personally I like Dongchimi, the specialty of this restaurant. Dated pots of this daikon kimchi are buried under ground in the restaurant. We had Obok-jenbang, in which beef tongue and breast meat are cooked with vegetable in a brass pan on the table. This cuisine is famous because Kikuchi Kan (1888-1948), the famous Japanese writer praised it when he ate it in Pyongyang.

    Topics of conversation were: the new president who was visiting Japan next day, and the new selection system of AISF scholars with interview to be held in Seoul.

    After coming back home, I realized that we should have gone to the nearby Cheonggyecheon, which must have been beautifully illuminated, for group photo. As you know, President Myung-bak restored this river streamAwhich used to be a covered drain, when he was still the Mayor. This place became the relaxation spot for Seoul citizens.

    Dr. Nam and Dr. Park extended the invitation to the SGRA forum in Karuizawa in summer. The theme of the forum is Olympics. It must be a hot topic!!! Let us get our work done as soon as possible and meet in Karuizawa!

    by Han Kyoung Ja, trans. By Imanishi and Maquito


  • Raccoonkai in Boston

    It was a sunny day of April 2, 2008. The Raccoonkai was started with a duck tour in the afternoon. The duck tour is a 90-minute orientation of the central part of downtown Boston. Participants ride on a hybrid automobile which has wheels for crawling on land and screw for floating on water. The automobile has been used in the Second World War. Raccoons joined the 3pm duck tour, departing from the Science Museum. The duck, painted in stars and stripes, driven by a humorous tour guide, introduced the history and major changes in Boston in the past 200 years, while the raccoons were making the quack quack sounds and enjoying the tour.

    Then a dinner party was followed in the evening, in a seafood restaurant named The Legal, located in west Boston. It was about 8pm when the table was filled up with raccoons. Mrs. Junko Imanishi was the host of the party, invited Dr Scott Qiao (96 raccoon), Dr Yuepeng Wang (97 raccoon) and his family (Mrs. Jie Chen Wang, James Wang and Julie Wang), Dr Mitchell Albert accompanying Dr Yanping Sun (98 raccoon), Dr John Lim (00 raccoon) and Kevin Wong (05 raccoon). Lobster was the main dish of the night. Raccoons could choose between steamed lobster or baked lobster; the steamed one was recommended. There were also salad and other seafood appetizers served before the lobsters.

    While enjoying the delicious food, Raccoons were talking on different aspects covering economics, politics, technology and social problems, such as economy depression in Japan, acquisition of car company by India investor, sub-prime influencing Japanese currency, buying and selling house in US, election in Taiwan and coming election in US, war and peace issues in the Middle-East and Tibet, food safety in China versus Taiwan, new cars, new mobile phone and so on. They did not recognize that the time was 11pm when all the other customers had left the restaurant already. Farewells in the car park ended this wonderful gathering. Everyone hope to meet again soon.

    by Kevin Wong

    The photos of Boston Raccoonkai can be found in the following URL.