Touken Matsumoto Blog

Sword Traders Gathering Trip December 12, 2017

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I made a trip with six other Members of the Sword Trader Association all aged in their 40’s and 50’s like myself, to Yoro Keikoku Okukiyosumi Prefectural Natural Park in Chiba. We stayed one day at the Keikoku Bettei Mochinoki.

We traveled there using the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line which opened 20 years ago on December 18, 1997, but it was the first time for me to see it even though I live in Noda City in Chiba Prefecture.
I could see the moutains of Chiba in the east, Mt. Fuji in the western distance and to the north I could see high-rise buildings in the city center.

At the Hotel we slowly soaked in the hot springs, and we all had a good time with local cuisine and sake.

The 30th Dai Touken Ichi Event November 20, 2017

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The Dai Token Ichi Event of this year has come to an end. The event was met with wonderful weather. The total number of visitors was more than 3,000 people over the three-day event. The crowds during the event never let up through out the day.
There were many enthusiasts also visiting from overseas as well. I was able to meet so many friends and customers. I could come to understand just how big of an event this was and how it continues to attract many enthusiasts.
However, the large crowds made it a big task for the staff of the Event, who volunteered to help, the event was successful through their diligent efforts that started as far back as the summer. The Exectutive Committee members of the Dai Token Ichi were kind enough to put their own business aside and contribute to the Event to make it successful. We recognize and give thanks to their personal sacrifice.

The next Dai Token Ichi Event 2017 will be held from November 16th for three days at the same location, The Tokyo Bijutsu Club.

All Japan Sword Traders Association Hompage. October 25, 2017

The All Japan Sword Trader’s Association Homepage was renewed and launched on October 25th 2107.
I was appointed to be in charge of the renewal project. I concentrated on this project to improve the homepage. For the last two months I have been unable to upload new items sufficiently on my own website because of this project and the translation work for the Dai Token Ichi catalog into English.
I really hope this new Homepage will be more convenient for sword enthusiasts even from overseas. Please visit the Zotosho homepage and look at the translated Dai Token Ichi catalog.

The 4th Chiba Touken Ichi Oct 10, 2017

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From last Friday, the 6th, for three days, we held the Fourth Chiba Touken Ichi at the Keiyo Bank Culture Plaza, which is close by the JR Chiba Station.

I am satisfied with the results and since I spent more on advertising the event, the numbers of visitors were more than I had expected. 

Some of the visitors who attended, were surprised at our affordable prices because they had an image that real Japanese swords are very expensive. 

We will keep holding this event to help increase the sword enthusiasts in Chiba, our home base. 

The next Chiba Touken Ichi will be held March 3rd, 4th and 5th at the same place.

I welcome everyone to come and enjoy.

The 16th Ningyocho Token Ichi October 12, 2017

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We held the 16th Ningyocho Touken Ichi and we were able to finish successfully the three-day event. Although it is a small venue, visitors increased as well as improving methods of display and product selection so that they can visit. The time close to the Dai Touken Ichi Event, people tend to purchase less, however I am happy when visitors purchase our items. They say, “If I find items I like, I will buy it.” I’m happy to hear this.

Iaido Practice September 20, 2017


It has been a year and a half since I have been practicing Iaido from April last year. Although I have a lot of work to do and have little free time, my Sensei is willing to adjust practice for me so that I am able to practice for two hours once a week at the Shunpukan Dojo in Noda City. Today I practiced with my American business partner who is a good friend from my previous job and currently supports Touken Matsumoto’s homepage and e-mail English. He has twenty-one years of Iaido experience and I was impressed with the quick and precise movement from an experienced performer. It was a short time, but he was able to explain a lot about Ippon-Me, the most basic kata.

Catalog of Dai Token Ichi 2017 September 12, 2017


The members of the Dai Token Ichi held the first meeting for creating the catalog for the biggest event for Sword Traders. This year’s Dai Token Ichi will be held at the usual Tokyo Bijitsu Club three days from November 17th, 18th, 19th. The meeting for the catalog was held for the entire day. We concentrated on checking the contents of the catalog of the item descriptions to make certain they are correct and to ensure the posted items will look attractive. We were exhausted when the meeting concluded but at the same time we were filled with a sense of accomplishment. Everyone is working hard to help make this the 2017 Dai Token Ichi a big success.

Visiting Niigata September 5, 2017

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I was able to visit Niigata again this year with the swordsmith, Mr. Takano Yukimitsu. I visited the Polisher, Mr. Takada and the swordshops, Shogen and Wakeido. I appreciated all the great items they showed me. Thank you all.

I was also able to visit Kajiba, the place for smithing and met Ohno Yoshimitsu, one of the most reputable living swordsmiths.
I was surprised to see the smithing area to be very clean and the charcoal was cut into small pieces. It is easy to see why he is one of the best swordsmiths.
I was able to enjoy dinner with five swordsmiths, including Ohno sensei and his son. They were kind enough to make me feel like one of the group. We discussed many topics relating to Japanese swords.

I really enjoyed my trip and the weather in Niigata.

Visiting San Francisco August 15, 2017

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I went to the Sword Exhibition Event which is held every year in San Francisco, USA.
I was eager to join the event and had the opportunity to visit with Nyoga-san (Tsuruginoya Owner) who used to visit every year.
At the event, Mike Yamasaki-san, a well-known sword trader in the US, was kind enough to take care of us. In addition, Mr. Chuck of the NY Token Kai arranged for me to share his exposition table so I was able to display my items for sale.
During the 3-day Event, an appreciation event of the American branch of the Japanese NBTHK association was held. The NTHK held an appraisal event and it was an educational experience for everyone.
I saw many people who were active at the American Sword Exhibition Event with good knowledge. I am certain this will help lead to future business within the United States and overseas.

After the Event, I was happy to be able to visit the Yosemite National Park with Myoga-san for three days. The Park was very impressive and inspiring for me. I was able to put my work out of my mind and enjoy Nature’s beauty allowing for me to see a change in my view of life.


The 9th Noda Token Ichi. July 9, 2017

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The 9th Noda Token Ichi ended successfully. During the three-day event the weather was very hot so I was concerned that people may stay home. However, there were always guests present. I was happy to see that many of the same customers visited more than one day. They seemed very serious about learning more of the sword event.


The Hotel had been the site of the past nine events so the customers could feel comfortable with us. The location is convenient and the hotel provided enough space to comfortably display. The cool air conditioning gave relief from the hot day to the attending crowd from all over the world, from sword beginners to enthusiasts.  I was very happy that this 9th event was the largest turnout and produced the most sold items. 


We are planning to have the next Noda Token Ichi in January 2018 at the same location. 


Company Trip To Bali. June 30, 2017

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From June 20th to the 24th, I was able to visit Bali with my staff and business partners. Every June, I always try to visit somewhere nice to show appreciation to everyone’s valuable efforts in reaching the year’s sales targets. Two years ago, we visited Seoul, South Korea and last year we visited Thailand. This year’s trip to Bali was just as enjoyable. Fortunately, I was able to speak the local language since I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia for five years when I was stationed there with my previous company. I will do my best for the next year so that the company can successfully reach its target so we can enjoy another June somewhere nice.

All Japan's Sword Traders Association and the NBTHK Conference June 19, 2017


On June 19, the All Japan’s Sword Traders Association and the NBTHK had a management conference in Ginza. I was happy to be able to join. We welcome the new Chairman, Mr. Shimizu and celebrated the retirement of the previous chairman, Mr. Fukami.


The All Japan’s Sword Traders Association plans to start the certification of sword appraisers as one of the big events this year. The NBTHK also has a big event planned to move their Headquarters and Token Museum from Yoyogi to Ryogoku.


I am certain we will be both relying on each other to expand and develop the Japanese swords enthusiasts and its culture.

Regulations on the Ivory Trade. June 13, 2017

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The “Endangered Species Preservation Act” of Japan was amended on June 2 to help strengthen the regulation of the ivory trade. Today the explanation was given to All Japan Sword Trader’s Association from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the department in charge. This Amended Act will be enforced from next year and will mean there will be a creation of a registration system and the penalties will be strengthened for not following the rules.


In Japan, ivory has been used since ancient times for things such as seals, Netsuke and the handles for wall hangings. However, strict management of the Japanese market is required for the global protection movement against endangered species, and we must demonstrate to the rest of the world that proper precautions are taking place and that Japan is taking action.


In our business, some of the Mekugi and Hatome have been made of ivory that was used in the Shirasaya. This means all sword traders should register under this new Act because there is always the possibility that we can come across some of the old work where even a small amount of ivory has been used.



The Sapporo BJK Auction June 7th, 2017


I was invited to participate as an auctioneer for the Sapporo BJK Auction on June 7th for their Sword and sword fitting section.
Initially, the BJK Auction mainly auctioned brand items and jewellery, however three years ago they started to also work with swords and sword fittings.
The owner of the Auction requested my help to support their Sword and Sword fittings auctions. I offered to help expand the sword trading business in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan.
There were more than hundred auctioned items during my time making for a very successful event.

I had a great experience and hope to participate in the next November Auction.

The 25th Anniversary Noda-kai Sword Auction

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On April 19th we celebrated 25 years of the Noda Kai Sword Auction Taikai at the Hotel on Mount Tsukuba. This event was limited to regular participants, so as the host I wanted to extend my appreciation to all those who attended. There were about fifty people in attendance and the deals done were over 4 times as high as usual. I am grateful that there was a lot of buying and selling activity this time.  


I hope the Noda Kai continues to be as successful and all the sword enthusiasts continue to be satisfied with the items. 


After the Auction, the participants got together for an Enkai where we enjoyed food, drinks and a performance of the Gama no abura uri story. We really had a great time. 


The 3rd Chiba Token Ichi April 10, 2017

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Last week from Friday to Sunday, we held the Third Chiba Token Ichi in Chiba City. Although it was a rainy day, there were many enthusiasts who visited us. I was grateful for the good turnout and business conducted. This was due to the great advertisement and the convenient location with its own parking lot. 


I wanted to thank the advertisement agency and the staff of the event place. I have found a huge potential in this area so I am hoping to increase the Japanese sword enthusiasts here. 


The Fourth Chiba Token Ichi is scheduled for this October on the sixth through the eighth. 

Contemplating the Qualifications for Sword Appraisers April 1, 2017


Today The All Japan Sword Trader’s Association held a meeting to discuss creating a standard for Sword Appraisers. The Association will create a license for individuals who wish to be considered Sword Appraisers in Japan. It is not an easy thing to accurately determine the value of a sword, so in order to keep the standard high and to meet the high demand for sword appraisals this system will be established.

In the photo, the Association is discussing what type of questions would the test be comprised of for obtaining the Sword Appraiser’s license. As one of the members of the Board of Directors for The All Japan Sword Trader’s Association I am eager to put this license system in place soon.

In order to effectively determine the best way to move forward The Sword Trader’s Association hopes to request cooperation from the various Associations such as The NBTHK, The Nihonto Hozonkai, The Zen Nihon Tosho Kai, The Association For The Research and Preservation of Japanese Helmet and Armor as well as potentially others.

Japanese Sword Class / Invited Guest, Ozawa Shigenori Swordsmith February 19, 2017


This month’s Japanese Sword Class, we invited Mr. Shigenori Ozawa living in Kanagawa Prefecture and we heard his lecture on how to make Japanese swords. 


This was the third time for Mr. Ozawa to participate in the class so he was used to the atmosphere. Based on his experience, he explained about the Hamon relating to the cutting edge and the temperature and also the relationship with the forging and the grain features in the blade.


There were many questions being asked by all the students. We had a great time.


He won the Nyusen prize at the Omamorigatana Exhibit Competition last year on the tanto ordered by me. On this occasion, he delivered it to me and explained about the tanto.


I wish for his continued success as a swordsmith. 

Auction Hosted by the Japanese Sword Traders Association February 17, 2017


The Japanese Sword Traders Association hosts an auction once a month for its members.
I was appointed the Auctioneer by senior members to learn more about the process.

Later I was informed that I did a good job but I should consider making certain that the last price should be reasonable.


I am constantly challenging to contribute and learn more about the overall business of the Japanese Sword Traders Association.







The 8th Noda Token Ichi was held on January 29, 2017

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The 8th Noda Token Ichi was held in Noda City, the location of our office.


The weather and temperature felt like an early Spring. The number of visitors and amount of sales were the highest since we started the Noda Token Ichi. The economy in Japan seems to be improving.


One of the customers that day I had not seen in over thirty years. He was the manager at the paint shop I worked at part-time while in university. We talked a lot about the old days and about swords. It was a very nice meeting.
Even in my hometown where my friends and acquaintance were unaware that I am a sword trader now. So I hope to bring more awareness to everyone about our store.


The next Noda Token Ichi will be from July 7th-9th at the same location, Noda Business Hotel.

Happy New Year! January 1, 2017


Happy New Year from Touken Matsumoto

The photo is showing the first sunrise of 2017 over the horizon in Yamanashi prefecture with Mt. Fuji in the background. 

I wished that this year will be healthy and prosperous for everyone. Touken Matsumoto and its staff feels refreshed and shall provide another outstanding year of service to our customers. 

We look forward to doing business with customers from all around the world in 2017.