Saturday, September 14, 2013

#225- West Hollywood = California Dream [Butterflyzebra] (@SENKEN-SHIMBUN /daily newspaper for fashion business)

Have you been to the “Sunset Strip”?  (I wrote a post on April 29, 2012 about it at .)

As you know, the Sunset Strip is the name given to the mile and a half stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through West Hollywood, California.

The Sunset Strip is my favorite street in Los Angeles.


Today, my new column on the site of Senken-Shimbun (the major Japanese fashion trade newspaper ) came out about my favorite street “Sunset Strip” and my favorite friend “Ms. Liza Stewart”.

You can click on my face logo on the front page of this site for a couple of days (A couple of days later, you can click on here at my column page ).


Ms. Liza Stewart… I became friend with her in 2010 after I interviewed her for Senken-Shimbun. Since 2010, we have been chatting here and there with lunch & drink about our life (career, love life, food, art etc).

We always have many fabulous episodes to share with.


A couple of weeks ago, she invited me to her house in West Hollywood.

I brought a perfect box of sweets (cakes and macaroons) from “between us” (at the Sunset Plaza) for her.

Liza: Wow!  Zebra’s bag! It matches with my brand!

(Liza own the fashion brand “Butterflyzebra” which has a logo of butterfly with zebra, and the bag of “between us” has a zebra pattern.)

Yoko: Yes! I always have a good instinct for things and I always choose perfect things!  ha ha ha!

Liza’s house is amazing!  (Even though you don’t read Japanese, you can see and enjoy her house photos at

Her house shows everything about her. She is very beautiful inside and out, and she is very smart, sweet and stylish.

Playful swimming pool, Cozy patio with colorful cushions, Intellectual living room with a lot of books and art (her mother is a painter / her mother’s paintings are on the wall), Sophisticated kitchen with bright light, Gorgeous bed room with a boutique style closet, Pretty guest bed room, Rich guest house with a large sauna… she has everything which many girls want.

I am very lucky to know her and she is my fabulous friend.


As I said before, only 600 words in Japanese… it’s a small column, but it’s a great scoop.

If you don’t read Japanese, but you want to see scoop photos, please visit at

Here is my translation into English from Japanese.

On Senken+

Updated on September 14, 2013 (in Japan)

“I Love Los Angeles by Yoko Fujimoto” (title of my column series)

By Yoko Fujimoto

Writer from Los Angeles

Title of the new column: W Hollywood = CA Dream

West Hollywood (L.A.) Street “Sunset Strip”. It’s known for the setting of a film and a musical, and the town for rock clubs, restaurants, boutiques etc.

One of the famous sights, its trademark array of huge colorful billboards is on the Sunset Blvd. Ms. Liza Stewart lives near this street. “18 years since I have moved in L.A. from Chicago. It’s cosmopolitan and well known for a big fashion industry. We have beach and perfect weather. L.A. is just a city of California Dream” she praise highly.

Liza borrowed 35,000 dollars from her mother and she founded her own showroom “Liza Stewart” in downtown L.A. 17 years ago. The showroom carries 8 brands including Gold Hawk, Yoana Baraschi etc, and selling to buyers. Planet blue in Japan also regularly visits this showroom. Liza also founded her own lady’s brand “Butterflyzebra” 2 years ago.

“I saw a large butterfly about 7 inches size, and then ideas flashed into my mind” said Liza. She put together the butterfly and her favorite zebra pattern “Butterfly and Zebra” as her brand symbol, and she started her brand with a travel bag and scarf made of vintage fabric of CHANEL at first.

Sandals or boots, accessories or small items, to change them or add them to coordinated the style, they are able to wear it from the morning to evening. At this time, they have total collections from tops to dresses. Made in L.A. with California Dream. “Launch this in Japan” Liza’s dream is expanding for it.

Photos captions:

(As you know, I don't put photos in my blog. If you want to see photos, please visit at

Photo1: Ms. Liza Stewart is wearing “Butterflyzebra” ( dress. This is a sneak peek of her idea board for next spring collection which she is working on it right now. (Only for readers on this site! Scoop!)

Photo 2: The reason for why she bought a house in West Hollywood is, “It’s just between Downtown L.A. and Beach. West Hollywood is the center of L.A.” This travel bag is the first product of her brand. (At her swimming pool at her house.)

Photo 3: This is just a California Dream life style. Between the house and the garden, she is enjoying her lunch at her country style patio.

Photo 4: Closet in her bed is like a shelf of a boutique! Easy to wear to casual or chic “Butterflyzebra”’s dress with stretch knit. It has a full of California spirits.

Photo 5: A writer (Yoko Fujimoto) always chooses this view of Sunset Strip with many billboards for a request from Japanese TV projects that they want to shoot typical L.A. street view.

Photo 6: New fall item of “Butterflyzebra”.

Photo 7: New fall item of “Butterflyzebra”.


Liza treated me for a delicious lunch (Lemon Chicken, Orzo Salad and Spicy Green Beans) and drink (Vodka & Lemonade).

Oh… she is fabulous inside and out in West Hollywood.

A fabulous day with a fabulous friend.

I hope you are having a fabulous day like me :)

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles September 14, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Yoko Fujimoto

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

#224- What do you think of Japan?

Area 51, Fukushima nuclear power plant, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy & strategy toward the world, JAPAN’s policy regarding the Syria situation…

Last couple of weeks, I was working for the Japanese weekly magazine “Shukan Gendai” (by the largest Japanese publisher, Kodansha Ltd.


On September 9, 2013 in Japan, the feature article came out on “Shukan Gendai”.

“What intellectual people in the world think of Japan?”

I interviewed three people in U.S.A. for this article.

A senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation, A former scientist of the department of radiation biology at UCSF, and A news anchor of the KTLA 5 Morning News (former CNN correspondent).

Our questions are…

1) In the latest crisis to strike the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) has discovered that 300 tons (nearly 72,000 gallons) of highly radioactive water has leaked from a holding tank into the ground over the past month.

How U.S. media reported about this issue?
What do you think of this issue?

2) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited to Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Middle East countries to make them “love Japan (pro-Japanese)” instead of “love China (pro-Chinese)”. Abe’s strategy called “a terrestrial globe strategy”.

How U.S. media reported about the Abe’s policy & strategy toward the world?
What do you think of Abe’s policy & strategy toward the world?

3) What do you think of JAPAN & the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy regarding the Syria situation? 

As you know JAPAN doesn’t have a military, but Prime Minister Abe might use a right of collective self-defense (includes the Self-Defense Force mission).

Prime Minister Abe said Sunday (Sep 1) he will closely monitor how the U.S. Congress will react to President Barack Obama's decision to ask it to support a military strike punishing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons.


I don’t have a copyright for this article of “Shukan Gendai”, so I can’t translate the article into English from Japanese on here (in my blog)…

BUT I would like to share my little scoop!

OH… Mr.Frank Buckley who is a news anchor on LA’s #1 morning news program, the KTLA 5 Morning News (Previously, he served as a CNN correspondent) is the sweetest!

WHEN I made contact with the beautiful & wonderful TV reporter Ms.Wendy Burch (My hero! Read my blog on March 16, 2009, she is so sweet that she introduced me to Mr.Frank Buckley.

WENDY said, “Hello Yoko….I’m including my wonderful colleague, Frank Buckley on this email. He actually went to Japan to cover the story for KTLA. We will have tremendous insight for you.”

THEN, Frank wrote me back at 7:40am… he is so kind and sweet that he wrote me an email during his TV program…He knew I was in the urgent project… he said, “I’m on the air until 10am. I’ll make myself available.”

SINCE then, we had additional questions etc… but he responded right away each time. I am very impressed with his work and his warm heart.

HIS answers to our questions are wonderful. (I hope I can share his answers on this page.) I enjoyed his writings (he answered to me by email). He is a great writer! It makes sense that he used to write for Los Angeles Times.

FRANK is a truly Journalist. He has such a warm & beautiful mind. I really believe that he has a Japanese mother, because he is very kind and sweet like a Japanese man (He is an American whose mother is Japanese)  :)   By the way, for me… American men are sweeter than Japanese men, because I am Japanese woman :)

HE reported from Japan in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake and the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, so he is the perfect person to answer to our questions. I am so lucky to have him in this article.

WOW, he reported on the earthquake and tsunami and its aftermath, traveling to Japan within 48 hours of the quake, and he reported from Sendai and the neighborhoods near the ocean so he saw the devastation firsthand.

HERE are some scoops besides serious issues.

1- Frank lived in Japan for six years as a boy and he speaks conversational Japanese.

2-He was in Japan with his wife and sons for vacation in April because he & his wife believe it’s important for their sons to know their heritage.

3- He is a member of the U.S.-Japan Council which seeks to strengthen U.S.-Japan relations in part through people-to-people diplomacy.

4- He actives in “giving back” to the Japanese and Japanese American communities in Southern California. He has donated his time to organizations such as the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, the Japanese American National Museum, the Japan Business Association of Southern California, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California.

5- He is a truly journalist, but he has a very kind heart. He said, “Still, in American journalism, our tradition is to try to remain as dispassionate as possible in reporting stories. We try not to take a side or inject our personal feelings into our coverage. So I will try to provide you with some comments that are more analytical in nature.”


Most of the morning and evening, I usually watch ABC TV news… but since I know Wendy (she moved to KTLA from ABC) and Frank, I am watching KTLA every morning.

Forget about the GOOD MORNING AMERICA (Oops… I watched “Lady Gaga” show the other day… sometimes, I still remember ABC TV in the morning :) ), Remember WATCH LA’s #1 morning news program, the KTLA 5 Morning News.

Wendy and Frank are my favorite on KTLA :)


By the way, my home town Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics!

What do you think of Japan?

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles September 10, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Yoko Fujimoto

Sunday, September 1, 2013

#223- My thoughts about living in the U.S.A.

I have a Japanese blog.

Some blog posts are the same as my posts in my English blog (here), but sometimes I write a special post in my Japanese blog.

Today, I translated my Japanese blog post (on September 2, 2013 in Japan) into English.

I would like to share it with you.

Please read below.


Japanese blog

From Yoko Fujimoto

My thoughts about living in the U.S.A.

Posted on September 1, 2013

The other day (July 30, 2013), as I wrote about my columns of Rafu Shimpo (a Japanese-English language newspaper based in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California, USA. The paper began in 1903. Rafu Shimpo is at, I used to write a column every month on the front page in Rafu Shimpo (the column is called “Jishin” / 20 reporters & writers are writing by a daily shift).

Between November 2002 and April 2008, I wrote a column every month in Rafu Shimpo.

Today, I was reading my old columns and I found one old column which has the perfect thoughts at this time. So I would like to share it with you.

This column is from September 14, 2004, but if I change my word from Iraq into Syria, I guess I have a same thought as my thought back then… even though it past 9 years since I wrote this column… I have same feelings…I have mix feelings about what’s happening in the world right now.


Rafu Shimpo

On September 14th, 2004
By Yoko Fujimoto

Living in the U.S.A.

I have been working as a reporter for NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai / Japan Broadcasting Corporation is Japan's national public broadcasting organization) Radio show’s program “Radio Shinyabin- World Network”. Every two weeks, I report news of Los Angeles to listeners in Japan on live (by the phone). I enjoy my report, so I don’t feel like this is work.

Since I have been trying to select the news which Japanese listeners could understand how L.A. people are living, and time after time, I am starting to realized “I am Japanese who live in America”.

I have been living in America since 1989. I was supposed to go home in Japan after my acting 2 years career, but I have changed my plan and I immigrated.

When I arrived at Los Angeles International Airport with broken English, a stranger kindly helped me to transfer to other airplane (to San Diego), she held my hand and said “you are all right”. I thought how American is so kind! I was very impressed with American. I still remember about that day.

Moreover I was very impressed with America. When I was at the Madonna’s concert, I saw handicap people in the wheelchair who were enjoying the concert. I realized America is a sweet country that has accessibility systems for everyone, so everyone can independent to live their lives.

Some people say, American is always screaming “Freedom! Freedom!”, and they are interference and overweening pride people. For me, American is always accepting people and enjoying each other. If they see someone in trouble, they always help them. But at this time, when comes to Iraq situation, the wrong way support will bring danger.

I am also an interference person who is trying to help people, but recently I realized that it’s very important about the value of Japanese original “humbly thoughtfulness”. I know two cultures of two countries, so I would like to use good side of them in my life and bring to my heart. As I am a radio reporter for this program, I appreciate that I realized how America is such a great country. I look forward to living in America for longer.


The other day, Reuters’s Japanese article about President Obama’s Syria Decision which translated into Japanese from English was, “national interest” instead of “national security interests”. After correction, the article said, “national interest based on national security interests”.

Many Japanese readers tweeted it or wrote comments / blogs about this article. They emphasized the word of “national interest = profit”, and criticized Mr. Obama. I think this trend is very dangerous.

One word might bring the problem or quarrel.

I really want you to know, most of citizens of U.S.A. against war. They don’t want Mr. Obama plan to military action against Syria. I hope Mr. Obama will listen to the U.S. citizen’s voice and he will calm down.

No matter what, even though there are some reasons or some problems, “War, Attack, Violence and Quarrel are not the solution”. I guess, most of the people in the world believe in this.

I am proud of Japan and Japanese people, we don’t carry guns and we don’t have military. I think Japanese people really understand “what the peace is”.

I am hoping that we will bring our peaceful mind to the world.


How was my Japanese blog?

I said, “I think Japanese people really understand what the peace is”, but I am sure that many people know what the peace is.

Have a peaceful day to you :)

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles September 1, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Yoko Fujimoto