The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

In a classy evening that would have made Truman Capote proud, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) Charity Ball: A Black and White Gala commemorated the 50th anniversary of the famous 1966 Black and White Ball. The elegant affair took place at the Hilton Tokyo in Shinjuku, with 330 members and guests in attendance. From the sparkling wine reception to the sumptuous meal coupled with world-class entertainment, it was a night to remember—all while raising funds for local charities.

“The entertainment may be the best I’ve heard,” said Lance Gatling, president, Nexial Research, Inc. “Steve Gardner and his group were excellent, complete pros with a broad mastery of the various genre, leaving me wanting more.”

The Hilton Tokyo did an amazing job with the menu, hearkening back to the 1960s with dishes such as Beef Wellington and Baked Alaska, as well as great wines chosen by our members at the Charity Ball Wine Taste-off in October and incredible beer provided by DevilCraft. The entertainment also brought in many of the elements of that legendary event 50 years ago with songs from Moon River to the dance tunes that originated with the Detroit Funk Brothers.

Tokyo FM announcer Kamasami Kong, who provided the opening narration, said: “The food was delicious and beautifully presented by the attentive hotel staff, and the musical entertainment was just the perfect touch for this event. All in all, everything was perfectly planned, coordinated, and executed—lights, sounds, auction . . . It was a night of pure enjoyment!”

Co-emcee Janica Southwick Sims added: “The ACCJ sure knows how to throw a great party! Thanks to the hard work and careful planning of the Charity Ball Committee, it was an unforgettable evening. This year having the wine tasting really made the dinner something to look forward to.”


Barbara Hancock is director and vice president of MediaSense K.K., and chair of the ACCJ Charity Ball Committee.