We are all praying for the people of Japan. The news reports strike fear in our hearts for all, but especially those we know personally.
Toshi Otsuki, our incomparable photographer for Victoria, and his wife Michiko are safe in their home near Ito City. They retired there several years ago, and both keep active gardening, enjoying their home and pets, and with Toshi's singing career.
I know many of the Victoria family have been worried about him. There are Otsuki family members who were in the hardest hit areas of northern Japan, and we continue to pray for them. Survivors will have a long road of recovery ahead of them.
It had been my intention to visit Japan this month as I have been thinking about going to see Toshi and Michiko for several years. Our family's comings and goings didn't make it possible. But now I am especially committed. Toshi sent a DVD as a Christmas card this year and it brought tears to my eyes to recall all the years we worked so successfully together.
In Toshi's video is a blow-up of one of the photographs he took for Victoria. It was a cover--a woman in 1920's dress with a fetching hat. It has always been one of my favorites, and I was pleased to see how it has stayed in his life and home. I have an enlarged photograph of a woman with roses in my apartment in Westchester. Toshi's very best work was in fashion and in the garden. Putting him around a flower was like seeing the beginning of a love affair. (I have been thinking of ways to bring Toshi's incredible record of Central Park for over 30 years in every season to the public.)
And so I am very relieved that his home is intact and his garden about to bloom into spring. But to all the people of Japan who are not so fortunate, we send our heartfelt prayers.