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Touken Matsumoto Blog

The 4th Koriyama Token Ichi December 28, 2020

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The 4thKoriyama Sword City was held at the convention center “BigPalette Fukushima” in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.  To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, we thoroughly measured the temperature of visitors, encouraged the disinfecting of hands, wore masks, and doubled the size of the venue to avoid crowded spaces. To be honest, I was worried about the number of visitors and sales. However, after the event I was happy by the fact that we were able to achieve record results and thus rewarding our hard work.  I think the great turnout and sales were due to three factors, the local newspaper featured it in the article as a local event, the trust of the people of Fukushima Prefecture being this was our fourth event, and we were able to exhibit many local swords of Fukushima Prefecture.  My staff and I are delighted that the last sales event of this 2020 was a success.

The 2nd Saitama Token Ichi November 30, 2020.

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The 2nd Saitama Token Ichi was held only one-minute walk from the Omiya Station in Omiya City, Saitama Prefecture. It was a 3-day event from Friday to Sunday, November 27th-29th. It was held in collaboration with the local Omiya sword dealer “Asahi Token.” Since the recent increase in the spread of the new corona-virus, I was worried about the number of visitors. Despite this, there were more visitors than I expected. We did our best to avoid spreading the corona-virus by implementing the wearing of masks and ensuring the ventilation was sufficient. November of this year, the biggest event, The Dai Token Ichi was canceled due to the situation with the corona-virus, so I think that sword enthusiasts were hoping for an exhibition and sales event. Many familiar customers as well as ladies and young people from both local and afar came to the event, so it was very busy.

Thanks to everyone’s efforts, the event was able to achieve more than the target.

The 3rd Saitama Token Ichi is scheduled for May of next year.

International Delivery November 17, 2020

The Corona virus pandemic continues to disrupt our lives and business.
In order to facilitate business during these difficult times, Touken Matsumoto has decided to utilize the service of UPS to send our goods.
We will continue to use UPS until the Japan Post resumes the EMS to help meet the needs of our deliveries overseas.
So please do not hesitate to place your orders. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

The Third Koriyama Token Ichi August 24, 2020

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The Third Koriyama Touken Ichi was held from August 21st for three days at the “Big Palette Fukushima” complex convention facility in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture. It was originally scheduled for April, but postponed until August during the hot summer because of the threat of the Corona-virus. In order to avoid the crowded situation, we doubled the size of the venue and were sure to wear face masks and used disinfectants to clean our hands and help prevent the spread of infection. I think all the visitors could appreciate the art of the beautiful swords and fittings with peace of mind of being safe.

The performance of the event was more than I had expected. We achieved a number of sales and I was busy every minute. There were many sword enthusiasts who visited and purchased items. This was due to the success of the local advertisements of two big newspapers that came to interview me. I think what helped the event to be successful for the three days was the people I know increased and maybe the local enthusiasts came to trust us in this third event in the area.

The Fourth Koriyama Touken Ichi is scheduled to be held for three days from Friday, December 25th this year at the same venue.

The First Otakanomori Token Ichi August 12, 2020

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The first Otakanomori Token Ichi was held successfully. During the three days of the event, it was harsh due to the continue threat from the Corona-virus and the extremely hot weather where even the news suggested to stay indoors except for necessary trips.

Fortunately, the venue, Otakanomori Hall, was only one minute walk from the station. In addition, the newly built modern facility was fully air-conditioned to cool down the large venue. I did not see people sweating or seeming uncomfortable so I think that those who came to the event enjoyed the exhibition in a comfortable and safe environment.

We were able to achieve success at this first venue with great customers, such as from the customer who purchased a sword for the first time in Noda Touken Ichi last month also purchased this month. Also, a Juyo Token was purchased by an important customer at this event. I will continue to make efforts to increase the enthusiasm of sword and sword fittings.

The Second Otakanomori Token Ichi is scheduled to be held in April 2021.

Results of the Competition of the Contemporary Sword Craftsmen August 7, 2020

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On August 6 the results were announced of this year’s competition of contemporary sword craftsmen.
Our staff member, Yoichiro Kawakami, placed 6th in the Excellence Award! This was his first serious attempt applying to this competition in the area of sword polishing. In total, there were 49 polished items (Shinogi-tsukuri) excluding Mukansa polishers submitted for this part of the competition. Kawakami was placed 14th among all the skilled polishers.  The Yushu-sho/Excellence Award comes after the Toku-sho/Special Award, but is above the Doryoku-sho/Effort Award. This was a great opportunity for him to showcase his skills in polishing for his more than 20 years of experience.  This year, he polished a contemporary sword from scratch that was the size of 2-shaku 3-sun 6-bu forged and engraved by Ryujin Taro Minamoto Tadashige.
I was very satisfied with the result. Moving forward, I encourage him to continue to grow his skill and enter the competition again.

The First Otakanomori Touken Ichi August 1, 2020

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The First Otakanomori Touken Ichi will be held for three days, August 9th, 10th, and 11th. The Venue is Otakanomori Hall only one minute from the Otakanomori train station which is the connecting station between Tsukuba Express (Joban Shinsen Line) and Tobu Urban Park Line (Tobu Noda Line). This convenient location allows for easy access not only for local Chiba prefecture but also for Tokyo, Saitama, and Ibaraki sword enthusiasts to reach the event by train. The Otakanomori Hall is on the opposite corner of the Nagareyama Otakanomori Shopping Center, making it a good location for both shopping and dining.  We are looking forward to your visit and have many attractive swords from the Kamakura period to contemporary and a large number of sword fittings such as Tsuba, Menuki, Fuchi-kashira, Kozuka and Kogai. Please stop by to visit and enjoy the event.

 

Venue: Otakanomori Hall 1-2-1 Otakanomori-kita, Nagareyama City, Chiba Prefecture

Date: August 9th (Sun), 10th (Monday), 11th (Tuesday)

Event time: From 10:00 to 17:00

Free admission- Please use the nearby pay parking

The 15th Noda Token Ichi July 28, 2020

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The 15th Noda Token Ichi sales event was held for three days at the Business Hotel Noda from June 24th in our home ground of Noda City.

Before the Event, honestly, my expectations were low because of the all-day heavy rain weather forecast and the fact that people are not leaving their homes in order to avoid the spread of the Corona-virus. In order to meet the expectations of the visitors who come all the way in such a situation, all the staff worked hard to keep the Corona-virus countermeasures in mind so that they would be comfortable to come. While the number of visitors were decreased, I was happy to see the continued enthusiasm of those who made it.  I heard that one visitor was not able to visit the first day although he came to the nearest station because of the heavy rain and another visitor arrived at the parking lot but could not get out for about 15 minutes due to heavy rain. I am grateful for everyone’s perseverance.  I was also very happy when a visitor who made his first purchase of a Japanese sword at Noda Touken Ichi in his third visit, he said to me, “I’m as excited with my purchase as when I received a new toy when I was a child.” We were successful and finished cleaning up, we were tired but we were all satisfied with the results of the event.

The next event, the 16th Noda Touken Ichi, will be held next January, 2021.

The 26th Tokubetsu Juyo Exhibition July 2, 2020

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In July, I visited the NBTHK to apply for the sword fitting Shinsa. While I was there I was able to see the 26th exhibition of the items that passed Tokubetsu Juyo Shinsa of this year at the sword museum. One of the items that passed the  Tokubetsu Juyo Shinsa was my item. It was Mutokoro-mono, which means six pieces of sword fittings, they were Mumei but were attributed to Joshin, the Third Master of the Goto Tradition.  This Mutokoro-mono is said to be Higashiyama Gyomotsu that means it was owned by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the 8th Shogun of the Morumachi Bakufu and was also listed in the property catalog of the Maeda Family from the Edo to the early Showa Era.   Finding such a historical item and ranking the evaluation up is very rewarding for me as a sword trader.

Company Trip June 27, 2020

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Every June, which is the end of our fiscal year, our company takes an overseas trip with our staff and business partners as a way to celebrate our hard work and success during the previous year. This was the 10th fiscal year and we planned to travel overseas, however due to the Corona-virus we had to cancel our trip. I did not want to lose this opportunity due to the virus, so I decided to reschedule the trip to Okinawa. We were fortunate that the travel restrictions were lifted after June 19th allowing us to travel at the last minute.

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Seragaki island in Okinawa. Using a rented car from the Naha Airport, we drove to the hotel. We enjoyed the hotel during the day and in the evening we dined in the local restaurants.

It is likely this severe economic environment will continue into the unforeseeable future, but I will do my best to dream of our next trip overseas for this fiscal year.

Reopening of the Sword Auction of the Japan Sword Trader's Association June 17, 2020

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The Auction of the Japan Sword Trader’s Association has reopened at Tokyo Art Club for the first time in 3 months. The Auctions in April and May had been cancelled due to the Corona-virus. This month, it has been reopened under the strict regulations of the Art Club. The measures taken to avoid spreading the virus were the use of hand disinfectants, checking everyone’s temperature, wearing of masks, submission of an attendance list, social distancing, and the use of a TV monitor to see the items. Before the start of the Sword Auction, there was a greeting from Chairman Fukami, from Ginza Choshuya. It was an explanation of how sword traders should handle this difficult situation with the Corona-virus. I think everyone could understand and sympathize. I felt that I increased my wisdom on how to continue and develop the sword trading business successfully.

The 5th Kyobashi Touken Ichi June 15, 2020

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The 5th Kyobashi Touken Ichi was held at the “Gallery Kubota” in Kyobashi on June 12th, 13th, and 14th. Due to the effects of the Corona-virus and the bad weather from the beginning of the rainy season, the number of visitors decreased compared to normal attendance. However, I was happy seeing the many visitors and friends who were doing well. Many customers came during two days, and everyone stayed longer to talk and enjoy the exhibited swords and items. There always seemed to be visitors around enjoying the event. Thank you to the customers for purchasing Naotama, Sokan, Masao, Naka-kawachi, and Choshu Nobutaro at this event. I continue my efforts with the idea of offering attractive products at reasonable prices and to continue building strong relationships of trust so that customers are able to purchase with confidence and enjoyment.

Noda Kai Sword Auction June 3, 2020

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I was able to host the periodical Noda Kai Auction yesterday on June 3rd. It has been for two and half months since the last time. There were many sword traders present who were able to make many trades. Because of the improving condition of the Pandemic, we plan to continue to these auctions. In order to stay safe we still wear masks and use hand sanitizer. I hope the COVID-19 issue will soon ease more so the condition of the world will return to normal.

Mobile Responsiveness May 21, 2020

 

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We have begun refreshing the home page for mobile responsiveness.  This has involved changes to the layout which make the page easier to read on smaller mobile devices in addition to desktop PCs. There are still some changes to come, so thank you for your understanding while we continue working to make your visit a more satisfying experience.

January Results for the NBTHK Tosogu Shinsa April 30, 2020

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We have received the results of the January Shinsa for the sword fittings. This time all 25 applied for items were successful.  Of these, 14 have already been posted on the website so they have been re-posted with their new information. These items have been identified as genuine, have been attributed to a specific Tradition, and have been upgraded from Hozon to Tokubetsu Hozon. It is my hope that these new results will make these items more appealing.

https://www.touken-matsumoto.jp/eng/new_updates_e.php?sj_id=478

Sales Event Schedule Changes April 13, 2020

We would like to inform you that there is a change in the Scheduling on the exhibition Sale Events.

  • The scheduled 2nd Koriyama Touken Ichi from April 24th, 25th and 26th
    ⇒Has been Postponed to May 29th, 30th, and 31st.
  • The scheduled 3rd Saitama Touken Ichi from May 29th, 30th, and 31st
    ⇒Cancelled

Regarding the exhibition and sales event “Touken Ichi” held monthly:

The “3rd Koriyama Touken ichi” that was scheduled to be held in April this month is being rented at the venue (Big Palette Fukushima) and doubled in size, and efforts are being made to improve ventilation, to avoid crowding, and closeness. It has been postponed for 3 days.

The “2nd Saitama Touken Ichi” scheduled to be held in May next month was decided to be canceled in consideration of the location (Omiya, Saitama City) and the venue (meeting room for rent).

In Touken Matsumoto, the “Noda-kai sword auction” for sword dealers, which has been held twice a month since January 1992 continuously were closed on April 3rd and 19th. Probably on May 3rd as well, it will be closed until the declaration of emergency is resolved.

In addition, we planned to hold the “Tsukuba Taikai” every year at the Hotel Edoya in Mt. Tsukuba, but this year we decided to cancel it.

I am distressed when considering the economic activities of the swords dealer, 40 participants who purchase and sell at the Noda-kai sword auction. However, the situation has changed to stop the spread of the new Corona virus infection, and people’s feelings are becoming more serious day by day, so I think that it is now time to consider our health and safety.

I hope that the spread of the Corona virus infection will end as soon as possible and that it will start to decline and that the world will return to normal.

The 9th Chiba Token Ichi March 30, 2020

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We were able to conclude the 9th Chiba Touken Ichi safely. The spread of the new Corona virus has been reported every day by the media, so I considered canceling the event before it was held, just in case. Under such circumstances, there were many requests from the enthusiasts who wanted to come to the venue so we decided to do our best and tried avoiding the spread of the virus by thoroughly ventilated the venue, disinfecting our hands with alcohol, and wearing masks. It was a relief to hear from visitors that the atmosphere was good, and that in terms of income and expenditure we did well. However, it was an event that made me consider about managing such events at this time more than ever. The next event will be in October, half a year from now. We hope the Corona virus pandemic will be over and we can do our best to be positive.

Trip to Kishu, Wakayama Prefecture February 29, 2020

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Touken Matsumoto visited Kishu, Wakayama, the hometown of our sword polisher, Yoichiro Kawakami. Kawakami’s parents guided us to the Kumano Kodo and Nachi Katsuura, which are world heritage sites. We stayed and relaxed on the island in the Kumano villa Hotel, which is famous for an outdoor bath with a view of the sea. Also, we were able to say hello to Mr. Sadakazu Adachi, a swordsmith living in Ryujin Village, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture. Luckily, during the time of our visit, there was a sword exhibition for “Contemporary Japanese Swords Exhibition” where the swordsmiths of the Kinki region participated. Mr. Adachi was also able to explain more about forging as we viewed the swords at the exhibition, including his one. All of our staff had a great time and were refreshed.

Chiba Television Broadcasting Coverage February 15, 2020

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The Chiba TV’s morning news program of “Shakkito” introduced Touken Matsumoto shop on TV.  It was set to broadcast on the morning of February 28 (Friday) “Shakkito! Outing Information” section that introduces local shops. A director, a reporter, a cameraman, and  an assistant visited the store and filmed for about two hours. I tried to convey the charm of Japanese swords in an easy-to-understand manner, but I was nervous and I couldn’t put together a good story. I laugh at myself when the conversation with the reporter became awkward. I believe that the director will edit well from a viewer’s perspective.