Christmas performances

International movie, recording stars highlight festive event


Thousands of people attended a three-day event featuring watches, paintings, concerts, panel discussions and other performances, organized by the Tokyo Art Foundation (TAF).

The event, Christmas Paintings, Concerts, Dance Explosion, Jewelry and Watch Exhibition, was held at the Galaxy Room of The Westin Tokyo in Ebisu, Shibuya Ward, on Dec. 19, 20 and 21. It was co-organized by watch dealer Misuzu Corp. and Tachibana Publishing Inc.

“Don’t sell seriously,” Haruhisa Handa, the chairman of TAF and the president of Misuzu and Tachibana Publishing, jokingly said to watch and jewelry merchants who were watching dance and song performances. “Watches and jewelry are things you want to sell cheerfully.”

The event showcased 48 brands of watches Misuzu deals in, as well as about 80 paintings and pieces of art Handa has produced that were also for sale.

The three-day event kicked off with the master of ceremonies welcoming the audience and introducing the first performance, eight cheerleaders who danced to modern tunes, including Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off.”

Next was a professional samba dancer’s performance, as well as a facemask changing performance by a performer named Hiro, who self-studied traditional Peking opera performance, followed by a couple dancing the lambada.

After that, Handa sang “Besame Mucho” and “Kurisumasu Ibu” (Christmas Eve) by Tatsuro Yamashita.

On the evening of Dec. 19, TV personality Mika Kano had a discussion and eight professional wrestlers, including Keiji Muto, Masahiro Chono, Bull Nakano and The Great Sasuke, made a surprise appearance.

On the evening of Dec. 20, Grammy-award winner Michael Bolton sang, while the following evening, action movie star Jackie Chan made an appearance.

Both Bolton and Chan are ambassadors of Handa Watch World, the chain of watch shops operated by Misuzu, which in October opened the Handa Watch World Kichijoji Universe Watch Shop in Tokyo’s Musashino Ward.

Michael Bolton is a multi-Grammy Award winner and his songs include “How am I Supposed to Live Without You” and “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Chan is famous as a movie star, but also as a philanthropist.

The Tokyo Art Foundation held a concert featuring only Handa and Bolton at Pacifico Yokohama in July 2015.

Misuzu recently bought Swiss luxury golf watchmaker Jaermann & Stubi and Handa also serves as the president of the Swiss watch company. Misuzu is also the exclusive importer in Japan of several other international brands such as Hysek, Roberto Cavalli by Franck Muller, Catorex and Candy Time.

Handa founded Misuzu in 1978 as the operator of Misuzu Gakuen cram schools and the company established its watch business in 1979, distributing more than 140 watch brands, as well as its own designs in Japan.

Besides horology, Handa wears many hats. He is behind the promotion of various sports, especially golf, as the chairman of the International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS).

In April, ISPS held the ISPS Handa Jaermann & Stubi Owners Cup, inviting amateur golfers who own Jaermann & Stubi watches to play golf with prominent professionals, including Jumbo Ozaki, in the Hakone resort area of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Handa also founded the Japan Blind Golf Association, the first such club in Japan, in 1988 and is known as “the father of blind golf in Japan.” The ISPS regularly sponsors blind golf tournaments.

In addition to his work with the ISPS, Handa is also the chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture, which has held international concerts in Tokyo featuring famous singers and musicians such as David Foster, former Chicago vocalist Peter Cetera and many others, including several other Grammy Award winners. TAF also organizes various concerts and plays.

On the philanthropic front, Handa is the chairman of Worldwide Support for Development (WSD), which holds a variety of summit meetings on global welfare.