Touken Matsumoto Blog

NBTHK's Second National Convention November 24, 2018


As a member of the Japan Sword Trader’s Association, I attended the NBTHK’s Second National Convention on November 24th at the Daiichi Hotel in Ryugaku where the NBTHK celebrated its 70-year anniversary and the 40th year of the NBTHK’s Tatara, the traditional Japanese furnace used for smelting iron. In attendance there were many people related to the Japanese sword, such as NBTHK branch members, sword traders, swordsmiths and polishers. The Princess Akiko of Mikasa, from the Imperial family of Japan also attended. I was impressed by the speech from a member of the Japanese Diet, who, according to him, some of the Diet members made an in-house Japanese Sword Group for the purpose of enhancing the culture relating to the Japanese sword this past June.  I look forward to hearing more about their activities.

The Dai Token Ichi 2018 November 21, 2018.


This year’s Dai Token Ichi has concluded. Over the three-day event we welcomed over 3,300 people. This was a 10 percent increase from last year, showing an increase in interest in Japanese swords. We, Touken Matsumoto, did our best to boost our sales and activities this year. We were able to sell many pieces of Menuki, kata-menuki, and hanare-fuchi as well as larger sword sales. It was a very busy three-day event not allowing much time for even a rest. but I am very happy to have been involved in this year’s event and to meet many sword enthusiasts. Next year’s event has been scheduled for three days from November 1st at the same locations, the Tokyo Art Club. My staff and I will try hard again next year.

Tsukamakishi in Ohanajaya October 1, 2018


I visited and ineterviewed Mr. Takashi Iiyama who is a Tsukamakishi, handle wrapper, in Ohanajaya, Tokyo. The interview was for an article in the Token-kai. Mr. Iiyama is an expert in the traditional skill of handle wrapping and has even won the Excellence Award rank 1 for Contemporary Sword and Artworks this year. During my visit, he took the time to teach me about the variations of Tsukamaki from the various provinces and eras. I enjoyed my time and had a good study with Mr. Iiyama.

Joichi, Sword Trader-Cyclist, visited our shop September 28, 2018

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Joichi Tsunatori form Fukuryu Bijutsu Kogei visited our shop in his riding gear by bicycle to conduct an interview for the newspaper ‘Tokenkai’ published by All Japan Sword Trader’s Association.
It was a fine Autum day between the several rainy weather. Joichi rode from Ginza for his visit to Noda, over 50 km, taking two and a half hours. His day was a hard-core ride traveling 100 km for visiting and returning home.
It was impressed that even after turning 60, he is still so youthful!

First Meeting for the Dai Token Ichi Catalog September 10, 2018

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The first editing meeting for the Dai Token Ichi catalog was held. 13 memers of the catalog committee joined reading each page and giving their advice. It took until late in the evening.
After we finished the meeting, we all went to an Izakaya restaurant near closing time. We are really hoping for this year’s successful Dai Token Ichi Event, with everyone’s cooperation, from the young to the seasoned Japanease sword traders.
This year’s Dai Token Ichi will be held at the Tokyo Art Club from November 16 (Friday) for three days.

The 19th (Final) Ningyocho Token Ichi September 9, 2018

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From Friday, September 7 for three days, we held the 19th Ningyocho Token Ichi at the Callery Shimuco. We started sword events at this location since Septermber 2012. However, this time is the final events since this Gallery will close for rebuilding. Although it was a small venue, we had a good relationship with the owner so we could continue the events for 6 years with many sword enthusiasts visiting. I was able to learn a lot from the customers and I greatly appreciate the opportunities to study and use the place. Next year, we will be moving the event to a gallery in Kyobashi, where we hold the 1st Kyobashi Token Ichi. I really hope to see everyone at this new location.


Japanese Sword Class July 21, 2018

This year as well we have started the Japanese sword class from July 2018.
We will hold the class once a month until April next year for a total of 10 classes to learn the basics of Japanese sword knowledge.
For every class, it will start with 1) basic explanation of that day’s theme, 2) sword appreciation, 3) explanation about the appreciation of each sword, 4) second appreciation by students of each sword after hearing the details.
This will be repeated each month for the 10 times for the students to increase their experience and overall knowledge. I will do my best to make certain all students will improve their skills in sword appreciation.

International Staff Returns to Visit July 7, 2018


A former staff, Roger, who supported me for four years from 2012 for English-related support for my business came to Japan with his student for his Iai training.
I remember well the days when we worked together and had a lot of fun talking about it. I was able to set up a meeting with him at an izakaya before he returns home.

The 4th Annual Overseas Trip June 28, 2018

June is the end of the fiscal year for Touken Matsumoto. Every year as a way of expressing my gratitude to my staff and business partners and to wish for the next successful year we take an overseas trip. This year, we went to Taipei, Taiwan. We visited many famous places and enjoyed these attractions; Jiufen, where we saw the paper lantern night view, Longshan temple, which is the oldest temple in Taipei and famous for receiving power, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall where we saw the guard change ceremony, and the most impressive sight was the Gugong, where there were many national treasures. The tour guide, Mr. To, was 85 years old. He was very energetic and did not appear his age at all. He explained many things with abundant knowledge including Taiwan’s history, culture and economy. I learned of the strong connection between Japan and Taiwan, and even to Mr. To who was born who was born in 1933 and seemed even prouder of the Japanese people more than us. From now, refreshed with this great trip, I will do my best for another year and will look forward to our next overseas adventure in 2019!

Passing the Tokubetsu Juyo Token Shinsa May 21, 2018

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The result of the 25th Tokubetsu Juyo Token Shinsa were received and my application for the “Tachi made by Jitsua” passed the exam!
This time, 41 swords items, 3 sword koshirae and 4 sword fittings were able to pass. These items will be exhibited at the sword museum as designated Tokubestu-juyo items from May 26 to July 16, 2018.
I purchased the Tachi made by Jitsua from a family with links to the ancient Daimiyo. Then I had made the shira-saya, habaki, and had it polished. After all this work I applied for the Hozon token and the Tokubetsu-hozon token together. After it passed, I applied for the Juyo token and when it passed two years ago I applied for the Tokubetsu-juyo token and it passed. It was a long process but as a sword trader, it was also a very enjoyable process to discover a potentially good sword and making it a great sword and passing the highest rank of the NBTHK. I will do my best to find many more.

Czech Republic friends April 14, 2018

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I had a gathering with my friend from the Czech Republic and his ten students. He started visiting our shop more than twenty years ago. Every time he and his students are close, they would stop by and say hello. English is both of our second language, so we did our best to communicate and enjoyed our time together. They asked me “When will I visit Prague?” and I answered “Next Year.” However, they said that last year and two years ago I had said the same thing but did not go. I would like to try to make a trip sometime in the near future.

5th Chiba Token Ichi March 26, 2018

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We held the 5th Chiba Token Ichi at the Keiyo Bank Cultural Plaza in Chiba City from March 23rd to 25th. We were blessed with many visitors mostly becouse of the great efforts with the advertisement publicity, the wounderful weather for the blooming of the cherry blossoms.
There were customers that could say “I will buy a Japanese sword for the first time” and this made me very happy since they became an enthusiast.
Unfortunately, the Keiyo Bank Cultural Plaza was closed in March. The 6th Chiba Token Ichi will be held in October and is scheduled to be located in “Chiba Seminar Room” that is 3 minutes on foot from the Chiba Station North Exit.

Swordsmith Lecture March 19, 2018

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This month’s Japanese sword class, we invited the swordsmith, Mr. Ozawa Shigenori, who is a diciple of Takano Yukimitsu, who was diciple of Ohno Yoshimitsu.
Mr. Ozawa gave a lecture on how to forge Japanese sword. His unique tempering is referred to as “Hadaka-yaki” which mean he doesn’t place Tsuchioki on the edge of the blade. Using this process, he has been awarded many prizes recently. Because this was Mr. Ozawa’s 4th year with us, the question and answer session with the students was very active. His experience and lectures that are based on actural practice were very valuable stories that we would not be able to get by just reading books.

All Japan Sword Traders' 30 Year Anniversary Event March 18, 2018

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In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the All Japan Sword Traders’ Assosiation, auction was held at the Tokyo Art Club, on March 17. On the same day, there was a party to celebrate the tremendous success that was 4 times higher than usual. We took a great photo of the event.
After the Auction, we had a social gathering at Shinkyotei restaurant in Shimbashi, and deepened our friendship.
For me, it was a busy day after being appointed the afternoon auctioneer at the auction and then I was nominated to be the MC at the Party.

Sapporo BJK Auction March 7, 2018

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On March 7th, I visited Sapporo city and participated in the BJK Auction. I was appointed by the Owner and Chirman, Mr. Uchida, as the Auctioneer. Mr. Uchida is the person standing next to me in the picture.
I was able to become familiar with many of the participants from Hokkaido and was able to speak with them in ease.
I feel that gradually the number of participants has been increasing and hope that the Japanese sword deals in Hokkaido will increase more and more.

Opening Exhibition of the Token Museum February 7, 2018

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On February 7th, I was able to visit the NBTHK in Ryogoku where I applied new items for the Tosogu Shinsa and received the items and the results of last year’s October Shinsa. In addition, I was able to view the opening exhibition of the Token Museum of contemporary sword work exhibition “Old technique of Ancient times”. There were a large number of award-winning works at the new sophisticated sword exhibition with high ceilings and spacious show rooms. The blades that were displayed under the illuminating lights shone brightly on the wonderful blades giving a sense of a great atmosphere where sword enthusiast will be able to appreciate the overall dignity and art. On my way out of the Token Museum, I visited the rooftop where I could see the wonderful landscape that faces the old Yasuda garden and the Kokugikan, the national Sumo Stadium.

The Opening of the Touken Museum January 18, 2018

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From January 2018, the Sword Museum and NBTHK head office opening commemoration and celebration was held at Daiichi Hotel in Ryogoku, near the former Yasuda Gardens.

Celebrities who attended included the Princess Akiko of Mikasa, the former Prime Minister Hosokawa Morihiko, and the 18th Generation and main head of the Tokugawa Family, Tokugawa Tsunenari.

Today’s ceremony celebrated by hundreds of Japanese swords enthusiast, such as association officials, swordsmiths, and swords traders, and I wish this to be the first step in developing Japanese sword culture in the future.

Happy New Year January 1, 2018


Happy New Year!
We wish everyone a healthy and prosperous new year.

The first day of 2018 had fine weather. I took a picture of the new year’s sunrise with Mt. Fuji in the distance.
With a renewed sense of commitment, I will do my best with my staff to offer best service and ensure customer satisfaction.
We look forward to your continued patronage.

Heisei 30th, New Year’s Day
Yoshiyuki Matsumoto