The 9th Koriyama Token Ichi was held at Big Palette Fukushima for three days starting from Friday, September 22nd. In addition to advertising on social media such as Facebook and local newspapers, the local newspaper came to cover the event and published articles about it, making it a lively event with many sword collectors and future sword enthusiasts in attendance. There were many visitors at the event who purchased Japanese swords for the very first time. We were happy that this was the result of our careful customer service and thorough explanations so that they could make their purchases with confidence. They could rely on us to provide the information they wanted to know. The next Koriyama Token Ichi will be held in March of next year. We will continue to do our best to offer attractive products that sword enthusiasts in Fukushima Prefecture will look forward to seeing! We hope to make it another successful event.
The 9th Nishikasai Token Ichi September 11, 2023
The 9th Nishikasai Token Ichi was held at the Tokyo Nishikasai shop for five days starting from Wednesday, September 6th. This time as well, we placed advertisements in the metropolitan area editions of the Yomiuri Newspaper morning edition that covers Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa Prefectures. Also, we utilized social networking services, such as Facebook, in an effort to attract customers. It is my impression that the social networking services were effective since in addition to familiar regular customers, there were many young people visiting the shop for the first time. We made every effort to create a good shop atmosphere and provide detailed explanations so that these new faces will become sword enthusiasts and regular customers in the future.
Local Advertisement in the Toto Yomiuri newspaper August 25, 2023
We will place an advertisement in the Toto Yomiuri newspaper on August 25th in the edition No. 1930 as an advertisement for the Tokyo Nishikasai shop. The Toto Yomiuri Newspaper is an affiliate of the Yomiuri Newspaper and was first published in 1975. It is distributed as an insert in the morning edition of 15,000 Yomiuri Newspaper readers' households in eastern Tokyo; the entire Edogawa-ku, Koto-ku, Sumida-ku, and Katsushika-ku, and some areas of Adachi-ku, Taito-ku, and Minato-ku. After many meetings with the representatives of Toto Yomiuri, we were able to come up with an ad design that we were satisfied with to help promote our shop. We hope to increase our local awareness and attract more customers in the future.
The 2nd Yamagata Token Ichi Sales Event July 30, 2023
The 2nd Yamagata Token Ichi Sales Event was held at the Yamagata Big Wing for 3 days from Friday, July 28th. The weather outside was scorching hot the entire weekend but the venue inside was air-conditioned and comfortable.
There were many sword enthusiasts who visited thanks to the kind words from the NBTHK branches located in Yonezawa, Shonai, and Yamagata and advertisements in the local newspaper. At the event, I was able to enjoy talking with the local enthusiasts and collectors. We didn't meet the goal of selling 10 swords, but we were able to sell 6 and 3 of those were to first time sword buyers. I feel this was a good result for the 3-day event. During the day, I gave explanations to visitors, and in the evening, I was able to eat delicious Yamagata cuisine.
Next year in 2024, the 3rd Yamagata Token Ichi Sales Event will be held for 3 days from Friday, July 26th. We will do our best to prepare a wide range of attractive swords and fittings so that Yamagata enthusiasts can look forward to the next Yamagata Token Ichi Sales Event. We look forward to seeing you then!
The 21st Noda Token Ichi July 17, 2023
The 21st Noda Token Ichi was held at the Business Hotel Noda for three days from Friday, July 14th. Although it was an extremely hot day in the Kanto region, many customers visited the event. From this event, we changed the sword racks from a wooden cloth stand to a transparent acrylic stand so that the exhibits can be clearly seen. We also placed an event flag at the entrance of the venue to create interest. We were able to exhibit a sword display box to promote a new sword appreciation style. This was the 21st time to hold the Noda Token Ichi. It is held every year in January and July. There were many customers who were looking forward to this event, and all the staff worked hard to welcome and take care of them. Thanks to everyone, our efforts paid off. I will continue to do my best for all future events!
The New Sword Appreciation Style July 8, 2023
Mr. Keisuke Nakamura, a sword case maker, visited us as a customer yesterday. Our store was posted on his blog. Please take a look although it is only in Japanese. (https://note.com/katana_case_shi/n/n9aabe3df57b8) Based on the concept of "living with swords," Mr. Nakamura has commercialized a "sword display box" that allows you to appreciate swords in your daily life. By displaying a beautiful sword in the sword display box, you can enjoy the sword anytime without worry. If many people have more opportunities to come into contact with swords, the number of sword enthusiasts will increase. Also, it would encourage the act of inheriting the swords by the next generation. I have high hopes for the sword display box. It may become an important product that will greatly change the traditional style that sword enthusiasts love.
Kyoto Travels June 30, 2023
My wife and I visited Kyoto to visit the grave of a previous boss of mine back at another company, who I asked to be the witness at my wedding 32 years ago. He suddenly passed away in January this year. At the time of my marriage, he was the general manager at my previous job and I respected him. It had been 13 years ago since the last time I met with him. I wanted to tell him that I had met my goal of becoming a sword trader in person, but I did so at his grave at the Daitokuji Temple. It has been a long time since I visited Kyoto and I visited famous places as well. I found Kyoto to be very international with tourists from all over the world. If you haven't visited Kyoto before, you should try to see this beautiful and traditional city.
2023 Overseas Travel June 25, 2023
This year was the 9th vacation trip with my staff and business partners. Our yearly vacation is held every year in June, which is the fiscal year end for our company, so I can show my gratitude for the current year and help to encourage our efforts for the next year. For the past three years, we have visited Okinawa due to the Corona crisis and the difficulties of international travel. However this year, for the first time in a while, we went overseas. We visited Da Nang, Vietnam, which was surprisingly inexpensive even if you stay in a luxury hotel. So I was able to thoroughly enjoy the hotel stay, Vietnamese food, and sightseeing at the local ruins. We will do our best to successfully close this year and to ensure the continued satisfaction for our customers next year!
The 8th Nishikasai Token Ichi June 12, 2023
The 8th Nishikasai Token Ichi was held at the Nishikasai shop in Tokyo for 5 days starting from June 7th. Although the rainy season has started in Japan, many customers visited the shop and it was a success. This time we exhibited attractive armor and koshirae of both yari and naginata. They made a good atmosphere for selling and our performance was the best ever. I want to say thank you very much to all the visitors, business partners, and to our staff. Token Matsumoto will continue to do our best to be a sword shop customers desire to visit. We hope you will stop by and see us.
The Annual Noda Kai Sword Auction June 3, 2023
On June 3rd, the annual Noda kai Sword Auction was held at Business Hotel Noda. We were worried about the effects of the heavy rain that had continued since the day before, but we were happy to see 55 sword dealers gathered at the event. Many of them exhibited attractive swords and fittings for the auction. The lively auction continued all day long from the morning, until it ended safely in the evening at 5pm. After the end of the auction, I was exhausted but was also filled with a feeling of satisfaction that reenergized me after receiving positive words of appreciation from the participants. Despite the severe weather and current decrease of items overall, this auction event had almost record high performance. This time, we held a banquet at the hotel the day before and invited a magician for entertainment. Everyone seemed to be fascinated by the magic tricks that we were able to see up close and in person. It was a very nice event and a great way to show my appreciation to the Noda Kai Sword Auction participants.
The 36th Yearly General Meeting of the All Japan Sword Trader's Association May 20, 2023
The 36th Yearly General Meeting of the All Japan Sword Trader's Association was held at the Tokyo Art Club on May 17th . This year, there was a re-election of the board members for a two-year term, and I was re-elected as a director. This is my fifth term since I was first elected at the 28th General Meeting in 2015. While the members are aging and the number of members are decreasing, as one of the board members, I will strive to envision a bright future for sword dealers, rejuvenate the association, and increase the number of sword enthusiasts to expand and revitalize the market. After the general meeting, an auction was held with many successful trades taking place.
The 2nd Morioka Token Ichi May 15, 2023
The 2nd Morioka Token Ichi sales event was held for 3 days from Friday, May 12th at the Iwate Prefectural Information Exchange Center in the hope it would be a good opportunity for the people of Iwate Prefecture to become familiar with Japanese swords and attract new and existing sword collectors. In addition to making advanced newspaper advertisements, I was interviewed by local newspapers, Iwate Nippo and Morioka Times, and articles about the event were published in the Saturday morning edition. The awareness of the event was able to spread. The visitors were not only local, but also came from the neighboring prefectures of Akita and Aomori. Also, we had a visit from the contemporary Mukansa Swordsmith, Yamaguchi Kiyofusa, who is 90 years old. We were able to hear about his valuable experiences with his forging skills and Mochi tetsu (local iron). The performance of the event was lower than usual, but I feel there is potential. I will do my best to make the next event in May 2024 a success.
The Second Sendai Token Ichi April 12, 2023
The Second Sendai Touken Ichi was held at Yume Messe Miyagi Convention Center for three days from Friday the 7th of April. Sendai is the largest city in the Tohoku district and famous for the Date Domain that was a domain of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan during the Edo period from 1600 to 1871. Under the Kokudaka system its income rating at 625,000 Koku was the third-largest domain in Japan. However, despite this history, it does not have a Japanese sword specialty store. Therefore, I made a special effort to make Japanese swords more familiar to those who were interested in coming to the exhibition. Continuing from the last time, we had many local sword enthusiasts, including members of the local Miyagi Prefecture NBTHK. I want to thank everyone for making the event a success. Next time, we will hold the Third Sendai Touken Ichi in October this year, just six months away. I will do my best to make the Touken Ichi established in Sendai and to help increase the Japanese sword appreciation.
Subway Advertisements April 5, 2023
In order to increase our name recognition in the local area, we posted illuminated signboards on the nearest subway on the Tozai Line at the Nishikasai and Kasai Station platforms. This is a follow-up to the sign at the Urayasu Station, which is an express stop. I'm a little concerned about whether it will be effective or not, but I'll do my best to convey the wonders of Japanese swords to the locals and to help fill our shop with customers!
The 7th Nishikasai Touken Ichi March 27, 2023
The 7th Nishikasai Touken Ichi was held at the Nishikasai shop in Tokyo for five days from Wednesday, March the 22nd. We placed two newspaper advertisements about the event in the Yomiuri Shimbun morning edition in the metropolitan area (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, four prefectures). Unfortunately, the weather was unfavorable, and it was cold and rainy during the five days. However, our regular customers showed their support and visited us despite the weather. We enjoyed it very much. The next Nishikasai Toukenichi will be in June. I will place ads in the newspaper again to promote the event and to increase our name recognition. We hope to see you then!
The 8th Koriyama Touken Ichi March 13, 2023
The 8th Koriyama Touken Ichi was held at the Big Palette Convention Center Fukushima for 3 days starting from Friday, March 10th.
There has been an increase in consecutive events as well as an increase in visiting customers and a good mood was fueled by Japan National Baseball Team's four-game winning streak in the WBC and their breakthrough in the first qualifying round.
The performance of the event exceeded our expectations selling 14 swords. Many of the swords sold were forged by Fukushima local swordsmiths, such as Aizu, Nihonmatsu, Shirakawa, and Iwaki.
We will continue our efforts to increase the number of sword collectors and enthusiasts in Fukushima Prefecture!
The 20th Noda Token Ichi January 30, 2023.
The 20th Noda Token Ichi was held at a convention hall in a Hotel in Noda for three days from Friday the January 27th. It has been held 20 times, every six months in January and July, and 10 years have passed. Over the years there are many repeating customers that join. More than 80% of the approximately 70 exhibited swords that are usually displayed have been replaced with new items in the six months since July last time. That means if you hesitate to buy a sword that you liked, the next time you visit, it may not be there. So be sure to buy the sword you like when you see it or you may not have the opportunity to own it in the future. Customers can also take advantage of our trade in option, where you can trade in a sword to put towards another more expensive one. It was a fulfilling three days, gaining credibility by holding events and allowing visitors to gain familiarity with Japanese swords. We would like to see you at the next Noda Token Ichi event in July.
Happy New Year January 1, 2023
Happy New Year. This year, we welcomed the first sunrise with Mt. Fuji under a cloudless blue sky and prayed for prosperous business. All the staff will do their best so that all our customers will say, "I am happy to do business with Touken Matsumoto." We look forward to your continued patronage this year.
Bijutsu Token Matsumoto
Owner Yoshiyuki Matsumoto