A Day In The Life

John Lennon and the memories of Hakusan Original Mayfair Model

A pair of glasses was on display in a boutique at Harajuku, Tokyo.

It was summer of 1979 when these glasses brought together John Lennon and Hakusan.

It was the year Margaret Thatcher became the first female British prime minister.

In Japan, the introduction of the “Walkman” greatly changed the way music was enjoyed.

And for Hakusan Megane, an unforgettable drama was unfolding.

A pair of glasses wason display in a boutique at Harajuku, Tokyo.

It was summer of 1979when these glasses brought together
John Lennon and Hakusan.

It was the year Margaret Thatcher became the first female British prime minister.

In Japan, the introduction of the “Walkman” greatly changed the way music was enjoyed.

And for Hakusan Megane, an unforgettable drama was unfolding.

Prologue

"John Lennon has shown great interest in
the pair of Hakusan's glasses displayed in my boutique."

It began with a phone call. The boutique's owner and designer and also a friend, delivered the message.

"John Lennon has shown great interest in the pair of Hakusan's glasses displayed in my boutique."

The celluloid frame belonging to these glasses was the Hakusan Original Mayfair Model, released in 1978. At the time John had drawn away from his music and was enjoying his time with his young son Sean. He was secretly visiting Japan during the summer. He was ordering suits and shirts at the boutique in Harajuku. The friendship between the boutique owner and John was not a secret, but this sudden message was hard to believe. However, the feeling of joy was soon overcome by butterflies.

"The ‘perennial superstar' might wear the Mayfair Model."
"It would be fantastic if he could take a look at the other models too."

Needless to say, various thoughts raced through the mind. After deep contemplation, all five original models of Hakusan Megane were taken to the designated hotel.

Act One

"Hi! I'm John!" He was far from intimidating,
and the comfortable mood melted away any feelings of anxiety.

The first meeting with John started at Hotel Okura. A visit was made to the penthouse with the Harajuku boutique owner. Feelings of anxiety were high; the summer's heat forgotten. The dry knock on the door echoed throughout.

Inside the room stood a piano, and a guitar discreetly propped up against the sofa. Several pairs of his favorite glasses came into view, but there was no sight of John. He was actually taking his nap.

"I don't want to wake him yet."
Yoko's considerate words were deeply moving. After a while, a stubble-faced John appeared.

"Hi! I'm John!"
He had a rather slim, small build. That was the first impression. He was far from intimidating, and the comfortable mood melted away any feelings of anxiety. During the course of the three meetings until the glasses were made, time passed in the same manner.

Surrounded by the aroma of coffee, John shared stories of music including his own works, which was a precious experience.

In the first meeting, John consulted with Yoko and picked out his favorite of the five frames. As was expected, he picked the Mayfair Model, which he first spotted at the boutique in Harajuku. That frame in yellow, tortoiseshell color, and the transparent type became John's favorites.

Act Two

Who could have predicted
that these lenses would later become one of Hakusan Megane’s treasures.

Two days later, a meeting was set up with John to decide on the colors of the lenses.

With the color samples laid out in front of him, John passionately shared his unique perspective.

APOLUX BROWN 75 was chosen for the yellow frame, as he wanted a deep shade, APOLUX BROWN 50 for the tortoiseshell frame, and a pale blue SOFLUX S1 for the transparent frame.

John was highly nearsighted with a worse case of astigmatism. He wanted his lenses to be made with the same prescription as his favorite metal-framed glasses.

He also requested to have his black-framed glasses corrected with the same prescription.

Who could have predicted that these lenses would later become one of Hakusan Megane’s treasures.

Act Three

The radio on the nightstand was playing Paul McCartney’s “Jet.”

The main purpose of John's visit to Japan was to go to Karuizawa, and he wished to have his glasses ready by then. Wanting to meet his expectations, on August 24th, two weeks after the request, three Mayfair Models were brought to him.

Surprisingly, the third meeting took place in the bedroom, as John and Yoko were relaxing on the bed. The image was reminiscent of the Amsterdam Bed-In.

The radio on the nightstand was playing Paul McCartney’s “Jet.” John turned up the volume in a casual manner, and when the song ended, he turned it back down. Even a simple gesture was enough to make the heart flutter.

Although the situation was awkward─a fitting for someone sitting on a bed─it was important to be professional. A good pair of glasses depends on how well the fitting procedure is conducted. The position and angles of the lenses, the tilt, and how they fit against the temples all come into concern.

John had a high nose bridge and his facial structure was very defined, which made the adjustment process easy. The pre-adjustments were made to the Mayfair Model out of memory after the second meeting. However, the actual fitting was nerve-racking.

The black-framed glasses complete with new lenses were handed to him at the same time.
"You can toss the original lenses into the waste basket,"
John said. This was a chance of a lifetime.
"If I may, could I keep one of the lenses?"

John laughingly said,
"If you don't tell anyone how blind I am, I'll give it to you."
After the fitting process, John, wearing the Mayfair, said, "Good!" with a huge smile.

The memory of this smile was the most important treasure of all.

Epilogue

We proud of the fact that John had loved the Mayfair Model until his last moments.

At the time, Hakusan Megane was releasing several new designs every year. When John heard this he unexpectedly asked,
"Could you put one of each design on hold for me?"

What an amazing moment that was, a moment that would make anyone want to jump for joy. With the promise to meet again next summer, Hakusan Megane set to work on a new model in John’s image. It would be so splendid if he would wear these glasses. This was Hakusan Megane's hope and high spirit. The model was named Winston, John’s middle name.

However, John and Yoko did not fly to Japan the following summer. They were working on what would be their last album, Double Fantasy.

And then a tragic incident shattered any hope of meeting John again. On the night of December 8th, 1980, John was shot dead in the archway of the Dakota, his residence in New York. Beside him lay the bloodstained transparent-framed Mayfair.

A photograph shows John wearing the yellow pair and signing an autograph for his fan a few hours earlier. To think this "fan" was the culprit...

It was clear that John changed his glasses depending on the occasion.

A year and four months had passed since the first meeting at Hotel Okura. Hakusan Megane is struck by the tragedy, but also proud of the fact that John had loved the Mayfair Model until his last moments.

"Paul is playing in melody, John is playing in poetry," people say. If Hakusan Megane play in the design and creation of glasses, perhaps it will touch John's soul someday.

And that might be the day the Mayfair Model is unsealed once again.

「Season of Glass」 by Yoko Ono

The front cover photo is Lennon’s bloodstained glasses “HAKUSAN Mayfair model”.
Released: 8 June 1981 (UK), 12 June 1981 (US) / Recorded: 1981
Studio: The Hit Factory, New York City.
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