Last year was the fourth restaurant we’ve opened, and, just like old times, we continue to offer our hospitality to mainly the Ginza locals. When we were founded, it was right in the peak of the high economic growth period in Japan, and our restaurant was packed with people every day making us very busy. We’ve had company presidents and directors—many high-status people—drinking here accompanied by beautiful kimono-clad women. There were dance halls and cabarets in Ginza at that time, and it was a dazzlingly-vibrant town.
At the time, Tokyo was in a time of change: highways were going up one after another, many buildings were being built, and feel of the town even changed. When the restaurant was founded in 1963, we were just a two-story building with the shop on the ground floor; so, when I looked down, after having climbed the building to repair the roof, the place looked like a little house from the story “The Little House.”
Speaking of such, our black telephone has been here since the restaurant was founded and is our oldest heirloom. In the old days, we used to put a fee box on the side of the telephone, and everyone would make calls from here. I’ve also had a gentleman order potato salad from us because it reminds him of his mother’s potato salad. Even when the seasoning and ingredients are different, he strongly associated our potato salad with his mother’s cooking.