NIGHT AND DAY
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His sparkling conversation while he works ensures that time flies while your shoes are getting their "nutrition." Kin-chan is still the Imperial Hotel's main shoe-shiner, serving a steady stream of customers. Many are distinguished Tokyoites who cannot imagine having anyone but Kin-chan shine their expensive, well-heeled footwear. Among some of his more illustrious patronage have beenAlain Delon, and John Wayne, and countless famous international leaders, royalty and politicians. In a country where one is constantly removing one's shoes, not only is the name in your shoe a chance to define one's taste, a flawless, sparkling shoeshine is an essential indication of your status in an advanced civilization. Go downstairs from the Imperial Hotel lobby, and your eyes may be drawn to a sign about the Shoe Shine Corner. An impressive professional shoe-shiner, known widely by his nickname, "Kin-chan", works his magic here. After suggesting to a hotel manager some sixty years ago that Japan's best hotel needed Japan's best shoe-shiner, he has served as just that at the Imperial Hotel and become a sort of celebrity in the world of elegant footwear. He says: "At the time, I was a projection room boy in Fukuoka, and I was fascinated by the brilliant tap dancing of Fred Astaire, a huge Hollywood star. His shiny polished shoes echoed a light rhythm of movement. It is said that the eyes of Astaire's polished shoes were mesmerizing." While spinning the film at work, Kin-chan thought, "This is it! The way I will live is through shoe polish." Kin-chan's fanatical quality of shoe polishing received rave reviews from customers, and apparently even the cloths he used to shine celebrities' shoes were in high demand. 3A LEGENDARY SHOESHINE BOY, FOR OVER 60 YEARS

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