Staff Interview – Tomoko

Tomoko Connolly

In charge of: Regular booths

Q. What is Boston to you?

A. I was an Ophthalmologist in Japan. I came to Boston to do medical research in 1998. My initial plan was to stay here for 2 years and then go back to Japan. Instead of going home, I stayed here because I met my husband. You never know what will happen in your life. I got married and quit my job when I had my son. Many people told me I should not have quit working. Although there are many doctors in the world, it was only me who was my son’s mother. I have been enjoying my role as a house wife and spending a lot of time with my family. Now my son is 16 and I’m starting to think about how I can contribute to society.

Q. Why did you join the Japan Festival Boston’s committee?

A. I knew about the Japan Festival but last year was the first time I attended. My family in Japan has a towel business. In last few years our own brand, Sodateru Towel, has started selling towels at several famous department stores inside Japan. So, we decided to try to sell them at the Japan Festival in 2017. That’s how I attended the Japan festival last year. This year, I became a board member because my good friend, Julian Kan, asked me to join.

Q. What is your job?

A. My job is to organize the people that will have booths this year. I had a booth and sold towels last year. Hopefully this experience will allow me to be of assistance to those who will be using booths. I plan to sell Sodateru Towels again at the festival. My goal last year was to introduce Sodateru Towels to the Japanese people in Boston. But actually, about 80% of the customers were non-Japanese people. Our towels become softer the more you wash them. People who heard how the towels become softer, and touched the real towels, bought them. I’d like to introduce these towels more to the people in Boston.

Q. Message for everyone?

A.Many of us, who live in Boston and love Japan, feel thankful to the city of Boston and are trying to make the Japan Festival a success. I hope our passion can reach the hearts of the people who attend the Festival in 2018!