Naoya Mase / Marubeni Corporation, Iran
In March 2005, the final preliminary game of the World Cup Soccer was fought out between Japan and Iran at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran before a capacity crowd. If you saw the game via satellite, you may have been captivated by the beautiful, snowcapped mountain range that appeared at the end of the stadium from time to time, not to mention the superlative individual skills of Iran's national team. Situated at the foot of the Alborz Mountains at an altitude of a thousand meters, Iran's capital, Tehran, is often blanketed by heavy snow in winter and the neighboring ski grounds are crowded with ski and snowboard enthusiasts.
As is well known, Iran is an Islamic country, where drinking and eating pork are taboo. It is required that women cover their head with a scarf called a hijab and wear a garment that reaches down to their thighs when they go out. Until about a decade ago, most women could be seen wearing traditional the Islamic black cloak called a chadri. Recently, however, more women in Tehran wear the colorful hijab and coats. When you go to the bazaars or shopping centers on the weekend, you see young people enjoy shopping, each fashionably adorned in his or her own way. Each season has its trend in hijab, and last year, it was definitely turquoise blue. But since fall, chic paisley patterns and long fringes have been popular. It is a pleasure to see such diverse colors and shapes.
Speaking of trends, plastic surgery has become popular in Tehran today. As you notice when you look at the faces of the athletes of Iran's national soccer team, Iran produces many fine-looking men and women with distinct features. Many Iranian women, however, regard their noses as being too long and many want to have them reduced. For Japanese people with their short noses, it seems an enviable problem to have.
Tehran is a young, energetic city. Seventy percent of the population is under 30 years old. It is surrounded by a magnificent natural environment that changes every day, overcoming its complex history of revolutions and wars. I extend to you and a cordial invitation to visit Tehran.
Marubeni Group magazine "M-SPIRIT" VOL.31 (January, 2006)