A household name, not only in Japan, amongst print artists, painters and art collectors, Norman Tolman appreciates art in realms beyond his own strict specialties. Japanese architecture, pots and fabrics naturally fall within his orbit. He can rearrange the interiors of other people's homes to delight them more than their own settings ever did. He could not be more appreciative of the English-language theatrical art that Tokyo International Players has been bringing to audiences since its origin 104 years ago.

"I am sure I enjoy TIP more than anybody," Norman said. "Whatever the players do, they do it well. Everyone in the English-speaking community should know TIP's level, and see its productions."

He has never aspired to being an actor. But then, he has never been an artist, either. "I developed an eye, because I realized my hand was never going to develop." he said. "I am one of those forgiven for typing letters. But I have looked, and looked, and looked." He looked to such effect that he made his Tokyo-based Tolman Gallery a highly reputed institution, regularly visited by knowledgeable international buyers of Japanese art. He made himself one of the most influential writers, speakers and judges of Japanese contemporary prints.