Delivering Dinner for Former President Fujimori (Japanese)

Transcripts available in the following languages:

(Japanese) Many things have been said about Mr. Fujimori, but he’s an extremely hard worker. And he probably only gets about 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night. When I had a restaurant at the Sheraton, the president’s residence was nearby, so we actually had a direct line. He’d call and say, “I’m working until 3:00am today. I’d like to eat around 2:00am.” When a call would come, you know, he wouldn’t say he wants to eat something particularly delicious. He’d say something like “Well, today maybe should have something like Japanese porridge…” He was never the kind of person to ask for something extravagant. But in his case, he had to take care of his body so he would always call me.

And there was another thing that was impressive about him. When something was up he would call me to the president’s residence. You know, to cook, to guide. In the old days, the presidential residence had rankings, A, B, and C. Food was divided into three classes: There was food that the president and other high-level people ate, then there was a class of food for mid-level aides. And then there food for the rank and file. Mr. Fujimori said that was a waste, so he abolished all that and made everything the lowest level food. That’s because he was an admirable man.

You know for us…in that way, it wasn’t a call from a secretary. I’d get a direct call from the president himself. And when the food was ready, a patrol car would come and we’d bring the food in the patrol car. On those occasions, we’d always wrap the plates since if there was even a whiff of poison it couldn’t be served. We always delivered the food like that. Of course, that wasn’t every day, you know, because he also liked Peruvian food.

Date: April 18, 2007
Location: Lima, Peru
Interviewer: Ann Kaneko
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Alberto Fujimori food peru

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