NIGHT AND DAY
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4IMPERIALTALESFew of today's guests are likely to know an American lieutenant was stationed here as The Imperial's general manager when it was acquisitioned as a senior bachelor officers' billet in November, 1945. In his hilarious memoirs, entitled "The Wise Bamboo" and published by Charles E. Tuttle in 1954, J. Malcolm Morris comments about Frank Lloyd Wright's creation "the ceiling of the entrance lobby is so low that a normal-sized person instinctively ducks his head. But after walking up the steps to the main lobby a person suddenly finds that the ceiling is three stories high and he is standing in the middle of a huge space.The corridor system is so winding and complicated that when you try to retrace a path you have followed, the pattern seems to have changed while your back was turned." Morris details many laughable encounters between East and West, such as how kimono clad housekeepers, in true Japanese fashion, ignored the nakedness of their overseas guests while suddenly coming into their guestrooms to attend to chores. The engrossing book can be hard to find but for anyone interested in that rare and brief era of Tokyo history, copies are occasionally available over the internet. THE WISE BAMBOO

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