Yamagata Token Ichi was held at the Yamagata International Relation Plaza, known as "Yamagata Big Wing", in Yamagata City for 3 days from Friday July 22nd. The venue was 417 square meters wide, which is three times as large as the usual place, so this time I host the event that four other sword traders; Fujiya (Koriyama City), Kimura Art Sword Store (Takasaki City), Santo Ryu (Yokohama City), Shinbori Art Sword (Yokohama City). We asked the four parties to participate with us, and we had a wide selection of products, blades, and fittings. We repeatedly advertised in newspapers and hoped that it would reach Yamagata's sword enthusiasts even at this first event. However, the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Yamagata Prefecture surged from 350 on February 3 to 581 on July 20. I was depressed at this worst timing. However, the Yamagata Shimbun, the most subscribed newspaper in the area, came to interview me and it was posted in an article on Saturday. They also took a video of the exhibit. Then, the number of visitors tripled from the first Friday to Saturday and Sunday. The number of visitors far exceeded the initial expectations. We were able to receive compliments from many visitors for the explanation, so they felt that the Japanese sword was a little closer to them. I could then feel that the event was a success, with all the sword traders selling items during this time. At the end of the day of the fulfilling joint exhibition and sale, all the participants deepened their friendship with delicious Yamagata food at night.
Advertisement of the Nishikasai Shop July 20, 2022
On July 15th, we will successfully celebrate the first anniversary of the Nishi-kasai store's opening. Because of the COVID-19, I didn't advertise much at that time. However, recently the situation has become more stable, so I started to advertise more to raise the shop's awareness. I placed an advertisement on the platform of the Urayasu train station on the Tozai Subway Line. Urayasu station is 2 stations closer to Chiba from Nishikasai station, which is the closest to the store. There are many passengers getting on and off at the express train stop at this station, so I expect there should be greater awareness. Last month on June 22, we placed an advertisement on the mirror board inside of the Nishi-kasai station. Starting from July 1st, we also placed an advertisement on the Fire Hydrant Pole in front of the Nishi-Kasai Station close to the shop. The third was the advertisement on the platform of the Urayasu train station. I hope for better recognition, so please visit our shop and be sure to tell your friends about us.
Company trip to Okinawa June 24, 2022
As this fiscal year ended in June, the staff and I went on a yearly company trip. The yearly trip is to appreciate everyone's hard work for the year, to experience different cultures, cultivate diversity and new perspectives, and renew our spirits for the new fiscal year starting from July. This is the 8th year of our trips, but it is the 3rd year that we are unable to go abroad due to COVID-19. This year, we spent time at a resort hotel in Onna Village, central Okinawa Island, and all the staff were refreshed. I will do my best for the next year so that next year's company trip will be an overseas trip again to enjoy and make good memories!
The Yearly Tsukuba Convention Sword Auction June 3, 2022
On June 3, as the auction organizer, we held the Tsukuba Convention Sword Auction at the Hotel Edoya on Mount Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. The first time was held for the 25th anniversary of Nodakai to show our appreciation to the participants and it has been held for six consecutive year. This year, 50 participants gathered for the event, almost all members. The yearly convention is different from an ordinary auction. There are many more attractive items up for auction. The event started from 10am and continued until 5pm without taking a break, with the exception of a short lunch. After completing the Auction, we had a good time at the banquet together.
Customers from the USA visit our Tokyo shop June 1, 2022.
We received visits from Fred Weissberg-san and James Lawson-san to our shop in Tokyo, who are also key figures in the American Branch of the NBTHK. The COVID restrictions coming into Japan are gradually being eased. During the last two and a half years, sword collectors and enthusiasts were not able to visit Japan and had to wait. With the eased restrictions, I am expecting an increase in international visitors coming to my shop from all over the world. During their visit, we were able to tell various stories at the lunch we had together. Surprisingly, it was said that even in the United States, sword enthusiasts are finding it difficult to recruit younger people into the NBTHK with an eye on the future to pass on their knowledge. This problem is common to both Japan and the United States. There is no quick solution to solving this problem, but just a matter of making steady efforts.
The First Morioka Token Ichi May 16, 2022.
The first Morioka Token Ichi sales event was held for 3 days from May 13th, Friday at the Aina (Iwate Prefectural Citizens' Information Exchange Center) . This was the first time to hold an event in Iwate Prefecture, Tohoku district. The venue, Aina is a modern 9-story building with all glass walls adjacent to the west exit of Morioka Train Station. It was a complex facility equipped with a prefectural library and a training conference venue, and was a suitable place for events of Japanese swords and sword fittings with a background of history and culture. With the help of advertisements in the local newspaper and the support of local sword enthusiasts, the three-day event was quite successful with many visitors. During the event, Yamaguchi Kiyofusa the Mukansa swordsmith, who lives and forges in Morioka visited us and we were able to talk about the stories of the precious topics of forging. There were many visitors who registered to receive information about the next event. I can see the high level of interest, and although only a few people made purchases this time, which is the first time, I feel that there is a bright future. I am happy to make a reservation for this venue again in May next year. I am looking forward to returning with excitement.
The First Mito Token Ichi April 24, 2022
The first Mito Token Ichi sales event was held for two days from April 22nd, Friday, to the 23rd, Saturday. It was held at the Hotel Terrace The Garden Mito, which is directly connected to the south exit of Mito train Station. We advertised in advance in the local newspaper and exhibited many swords and fittings, especially those from Mito Swordsmiths and craftsmen. It was the first time for us to hold an event at this location, but I was supported by existing customers helping to make the performance to nearly meet my expectations. Moving forward, we will try to hold more events in the area and collaborate our efforts. This time, the event was held simultaneously with the other sword exhibition, the "Mito Sword Spot Sale" by Shinbori Art Sword (Mr. Toru Shinbori) and Santo Ryu (Mr. Motohiro Yamada). In addition, we are working to increase the number of sword enthusiasts in Mito and to synergize our efforts with other sword dealers to be even more successful. Next year, I made a reservation to hold the same event at the Hotel Terrace The Garden Mito for two days on April 23rd, Saturday, and the 24th, Sunday, and I am looking forward to visiting again.
The Sword Exhibition of Noda City April 9, 2022
From April 9th, Saturday to May 29th, Sunday, at the Noda City local Museum, the Sword Exhibition of Noda City enthusiast's collection is being held. The event has been supported by Noda City Art Sword Association. It is held in 3 years since the last time in 2019. In one place, there is about 60 swords, old and modern, and fittings such as Tsuba made by master craftsmen exhibited. One of our swords at Token Matsumoto is on display, a Tachi forged by Jitsua that passed the Tokubetsu Juyo Token Shinsa in 2018. Please come to visit us.
Audio Commentary February 9, 2022
I have started a new audio commentary on our website for certain items. However, I am sorry to say it is only in Japanese. So if you are able to understand Japanese, please give it a listen.
The commentator is Nobuo Nakahara Sensei, who has over 46 years of experience in sword and sword fittings and has written many books on the topic. Nakahara sensei was born in 1951 and in 1974, he was introduced to Kosuke Murakami, a former director of the NBTHK, who studied under Honami Koson Sensei. He became independent after the death of his teacher in 1983, and published the study group newspaper "Touen" (bimonthly) until December 1998. Currently with 46 years of sword history, he is active as a lecturer and writer at sword appraisals and study sessions nationwide. His major works are "From the Muromachi period-Swords of Oita prefecture (2001)", "From the Muromachi period-Swords of Oita prefecture next volume (2008)", "People of the Honami family (2009)", "Appreciation of swords (2005)", "Standards for appreciation of swords (2019)".
This audio commentary aims to convey the appeal of products that are difficult to express with text and images. We hope that the audio commentary will convey the appeal of products that are often overlooked and broaden the horizons of our customers. If you have the ability to understand the audio commentaries, I invite you to give it a listen.
67th Juyo Token and Juyo Tosogu Exhibition February 1, 2022
This February I visited the Japanese Sword Museum to see newly designated Juyo Token and Jyuyo Tosogu items at the 67th Exhibition as well as applying some of myTosogu and Koshirae items for submission. This year, among the 37 swords exhibited at this event, there are 3 swords from us, Bijutsu Touken Matsumoto. It is an honor as a sword trader to be able to find such beautiful swords and submit them for this Shinsa so that they can be evaluated and people can see how wonderful they are. So, this year I will continue to dedicate my time to search and find even more such special swords. This Exhibition started January 8th and ends on February 20th. Please visit and see the many beautiful items.
Happy New Year January 1, 2022
I was able to enjoy the first sunrise of the new year in sight of Mt. Fuji under the blue sky. We are celebrating the New Year of 2022 with a fresh and bright feeling, and we would like to express our gratitude to our families, staff, many business partners, and customers. We hope this year will bring everyone happiness, health and success. I will continue to do my best.