Jump to content

Recommended Posts

It was an awesome event, I was very happy I visited. For me the best part was meeting other people in there and I met a lot of old friends and some new ones too. I am starting to realize how small this hobby is in the Europe as you'll often mostly meet familiar faces. I was thinking this would be the event to really gather up masses of collectors together however unfortunately the attendance did not get to levels I expected. Organizers did an amazing job to bring us wide variety of lectures and great bunch of dealers together. I was really happy that Nick came across the Atlantic and we got 5 Japanese dealers to attend the event. I kept wishing the dealers would have gotten good sales during the event.

 

Here are some hopefully helpful thoughts. I enjoyed all the lectures as well I am totally hooked on this hobby. Later during the Saturday I was thinking there could have been maybe 1 beginner level lecture at some point? For example something briefly telling about different types of Japanese weapons etc. I am not sure if the organizers are gearing to get new collectors in or mostly gearing it to more senior collectors. Likewise for the amazing items on display there was very little information on them. Sure us sword geeks know the "common" stuff but I would have thought for new collectors there could have been some kind of explanation cards near displays? For example when there were the 4 Ichimonji there could have been a brief description about Ichimonji and those 4 specific swords, for Ko-Aoe  & Chu-Aoe small history of Aoe and the measurements of the swords, for Shikkake and Hōshō there could have been a brief description about Yamato 5, I think you catch my drift here. I strongly think we have to also focus on the new collectors to provide some basic material for easy study. I know this because I must admit I couldn't fully enjoy all of the tsuba because I did not have enough information to even properly understand what I am really looking for.

 

Of the dealers I must give special credit to Giheiya as I thought they had a great inventory for the event. They had several modern swords (1900's) that I think would have been perfect for martial artists, it is not too common to have several affordable Japanese swords to choose from for martial arts purposes in Europe. I know how important it is for martial artists to get the feel of the sword, and here were multiple choices for very reasonable prices + no taxes, no wait, no postage etc.

 

I had 2 great days in the Netherlands thanks to all the people and great items. I hope we will have a similar event in the future too.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear All

MY apologies for the delayed reply. I arrived home at midnight last night.  All in the journey took about 15 hours each way by road and rail and covered approx 2000 kilometres. As we were transporting swords and koshirae for the show it seemed the best way to go but I must admit it resulted in a lot of time in a car. 

Before responding to some of the comments I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to those collectors from Germany, Belgium and the UK who so generously loaned us their swords and fittings. As a result of their kind generosity we were, on Saturday, able to put together an exhibition of work the like of which I have not seen anywhere in Europe before. As Michael previously mentioned there were Tokubetsu Juyo and Juyo swords tsuba and koshirae from many important schools all as you would expect in superb condition. 

 

It was fantastic to meet so many old friends and to find new ones from within our community. While I admit to being disappointed by the relatively low number of attendees from our established nihonto sword groups I was greatly encouraged by the number of new people (and dare I say younger people) who attended and obviously enjoyed the experience.

 

Within the next couple of weeks the organisers will be discussing what to do next. I think the general view is that as a first event the show in many ways exceeded expectations and are keen to take this concept further. However the apparent lack of support/interest from those established societies who profess interest and enthusiasm for the subject is a cause for concern and makes it difficult to decide how best to move forward. 

Jussi

As always it was a great pleasure to meet you again and I appreciate your feedback and would like to respond to a few points you made:Firstly regarding the presentations:

 

Unfortunately on this occasion we had no way of really judging the level of experience of the attendees. Based on the verbal commitment of so many members of various societies we believed that a large part of the visitors would be experienced collectors and attempted to balance the presentations  to cover some of the basics and offer more detailed information for longer term collectors. I fully agree with you that for future events we need to offer a better introduction for less experience collectors as well as the more detailed topics.

One thing I was really pleased with is how many people at the end of the show took part in the kantei. Previously at sword meetings and events the mere mention of the word has led to a stampede for the door. I was delighted that so many took part and both enjoyed and gained from sharing the experience.

 

With regard to the exhibition I absolutely agree with you that there should have been more information available on the exhibits. It was our original plan to produce a catalogue with information about the pieces on show unfortunately we just ran out of time. Up until the last week I was still not 100% sure of the total content. In the end there were 19 swords and well over 100 tsuba plus koshirae and other fittings. There was just too much enable us to produce something. In any future event I will try and ensure we finalise the list well in advance and offer more support documentation. As you appreciate this takes considerable time and commitment but I agree it is very necessary.

 

Finally I think all those who took part and attended owe a huge thank you to the Samurai Art Expo team who put together a stunning event and enabled us to enjoy an incredible weekend with fellow enthusiasts and very good friends. I Think Eddy and his team did an exceptional job, were incredibly supportive and helpful and should be very proud of what they have achieved in this, what I hope will be initial, event.

Thanks to all who attended contributed and took part 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Paul, Eckhard, Eddy - thank you for the tireless enthusiasm, positive energy, unflinching commitment and ardent willingness to do this event for the benefit of collectors and enthusiasts and hobbyists in Europe. It is always easy to criticise and make constructive comments.

 

But what is not easy is to spend two years putting a great event together, sacrificing personal time and effort, sharing one’s own treasured items for the educational benefit of others, demonstrating generosity and graciously helping others.... for all of that we thank you profusely.

 

We can all discuss how to make this even more encompassing and accessible to novices but I also saw in the lecture audience that at least half of the attendees were not the usual old-timers and experienced collectors. So that is encouraging.

 

Again - enormous gratitude for everything.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for a great weekend. It was very interesting, enjoyable and educational.

For my part I found that the lecturing was very stimulating.

Thanks to all those who made it happen. Fantastic effort.

Considering that it was the first event of it's kind here in Europe for a long time it has been a wonderful achievement.

I am looking forward to the next one.

Thanks to Paulb and his wife, Jussi Ekholm, Udo Drechsel, Nick Ricupero and all the others I have met for making me feel welcome.

Thomas

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick message to say thank youto all who were involved in organising the event, and to say how much of a pleasure it was to be able to meet some of the usual suspects from NMB.


I’m rather late to the party and there is little that I can add to what has already been said about the viewing and educational opportunities on offer, but what I think is worth stressing is how the event offered serious value for money.


I’m not as well travelled as some on the board who pursue sword events, but the only thing I can compare it to in sheer quantity of quality in one place, was the Cutting Edge exhibition at the British Museum a few years ago and, aside from the Token Society of Great Britain’s event there, there was no opportunity to handle the exhibits. Think how far we Europeans would have to go normally to see the equivalent and the associated cost of that – in terms of bang for your bucks, this event would take some beating.


And there’s more to it than that, the venue was very well chosen because Utrecht offers  plenty of other stuff to do in terms of shopping, eating and drinking and non-sword related culture, so there’s something for the non-sword lovers in the family and we were able to make a decent city break around the expo.


I hold out hope that there will be more of these so, if you are this side of the Pond and you can’t afford DTI, forgo a cheap tsuba and put the money aside for the next one.


Best,


John


  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the lead-up to the event, images I've seen and feedback I've heard, the event certainly seemed to have been well-planned and run and professionally executed. Having planned the Japanese Armor Society's own symposium in the Netherlands just a few months ago and being a professional in the field, I know first-hand what it takes to put together events such as these, and it sure ain't easy, requiring much more work, time and money than anyone realizes.

 

These events that are targeted to our specific audiences - be it nihonto or katchu - deserve to be supported by interested parties such as the members of this forum and the various clubs that exist throughout the vicinity in which the event(s) is being held. It's discouraging for the stakeholders - sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees alike - when the attendance does not meet expectations and it certainly makes it harder to promote and sell the event for future renditions.

 

I myself have attended 2 symposiums in Florence, one in Leeds and the recent one which took us to the Netherlands; Berlin; Belgium and Paris, despite the high cost of coming from Canada. If we are to see other events like this continue to take place, we have to make the commitment in time and resources as they allow.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John, as you are aware I too have organised two symposiums and have too attended many of the ones you have listed.
I can say only this, The Samurai Art Expo is to date the most professional symposium that I have visited or been involved with. 

The staging areas, staff, displays, dealer booths and lectures, PA were of the highest standard and have really raised the bar.

I guess this was a chicken and egg scenario, people did not know what to expect.  Utrecht seemed an odd and little-known venue, but the town was amazing with its river and host of restaurants etc. The rail network was cheap and fast, £8.00 return directly to and from the airport.

For this to happen again, and this is something that we need a future event must be attended. Those of you that missed this really missed something special.

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some additional thoughts about the event.

 

Like others have said before me the amount of fine items on display was amazing. As has been said there were 100+ fine tsuba, I'd say that is enough material for 10 sword club meetings in tsuba alone... Then if you add all the swords and fittings + armor pieces and suits that were at dealer booths the combined numbers are massive. I can say for the 12+ hours I was in over the 2 days I had only enough time to focus on the swords as display pieces combined with dealers there were well over 100 swords at the show. I think dealers had hundreds of tsuba & other fittings combined, unfortunately I did not have enough time to enjoy their fittings departments, or the armor pieces they had. There was just so much stuff to see.

 

Everything went super smoothly. I guess we have Eddy to thank for this. All the presentations, displays, booths, everything in show was set up very well, everything happened on time. In overall there weren't any problems that I would have noticed. Like Dave said earlier the city of Utrecht and Jaarbeurs center were also top notch spots for an event like this. Schipol airport is a major hub and transportation to Utrecht was very easy. And I was stunned that Mayor of Utrecht came to visit the show, I think it was really nice gesture and I really liked his speech too. So hopefully we can continue the Dutch - Japanese relations on this field.

 

I really enjoyed this kind of take on kantei, I had never experienced this before and I can explain it briefly to those who did not attend. Like Francesco said earlier there was a clock and only minute to see the sword. Then after everyone had taken their turns on the blades (there were a lot of participants) we gathered back and there was really interesting way of getting to the correct answer. Eckhard and Paul were asking the crowd what we saw and they took us to answer the important things about the swords to arrive at the correct conclusion. I must say I enjoyed this greatly as it was amazing to see how much the experienced people were able to see in the swords in that one minute. I understood what important clues I totally missed and the ones I saw. I hope everyone interested would get to experience kantei in this style too as it was really fun. :clap:

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your kantei experience reminds me of Michael Hagenbusch.  He conducted fabulous kantei sessions at American sword shows. I miss this fine gentleman.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So say we all Barry I think we would have loved to have had his participation in this event. 

I think what really pleased me was the number of people willing to take part (Locking the doors helped :glee:)

The reason they only got a minute was it was the only way we could fit them all in.

I think what also helped was really experienced people such as Eckhard and Graham Curtis saying where they struggled with a particular blade this gave others more confidence to take risks describing what they thought they saw. from feedback everyone I spoke to said they enjoyed it and learned from it which is of course the reason to do it in the first place.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Michael is missed...

 

I'm happy that I visited the SAE on Saturday and Sunday and had the opportunity to meet so many nice people, to listen to very interesting lectures and to see and “feel“ lots of great items.

 

Thanks to Paul, Eckhard, Mark, Chris and all other guys and girls who made this event possible!

 

(And thanks you two for persuading me to buy the ko-kinko kogai - you know who you are...:-))

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gentlemen,

 

It is great to see some photos from the expo and would have been interesting to have attended. However, I was wondering if anyone who attended could answer the following questions. There are two dealer booths that I have been unable to find on an internet search- Art- Antiques & Armour and Patrice Sabbah. Does anyone have a link to or can advise how to find them as there appears to be some interesting items. Many thanks.

 

John C.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you need the support of the Japanese Armor Society for the next edition, we are happy to listen how we can help.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Luc

I am talking with Eddy in the near future as to what we should do. As said in the Blog on his site we are keen to broaden participation and appeal with societies involved in Armour and other related art forms. This was the beginning and I think a very strong one. The more our different groups work together the better will be the end result. Lets see what we can do!!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrice was giving out business cards. I have his at home and could try to dig it out and see what his contacts are

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Ian the answer is of course yes please!

I will be in touch as we progress

thanks and best regards

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrice Sabbah

Antiquites Japonaises Polisseur

Tel: 06 68 53  66 29

16 Rue Auguste Schenck

95440 Ecouen

France

Mail: tanto180270@gmail.com

 

 

Philippe Leemans

Art- Antiques & Armour

Belgium

I tried to find more info on the web, but  could not find anything.

 

Thomas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You trecked. (I didn't.) 13th fairy, late to appear. May I say how much I enjoyed reading about this event and seeing the (mostly upright) photographs. :clap:

 

Here in Japan little birds flitter this way and that and we hear a merry tweeting. At least one of the Japanese dealers must have heard rumours concerning possible theft and was unnecessarily over-paranoid. Security must have been a secret concern among them before they set out. I mentioned in passing that this event would not have been like your average street market. :lipssealed:

 

I also heard a comment that although the dealers did not sell particularly well, many of their top pieces were snapped up. So who here is hiding prized newly-acquired treasures?  :Drool:       ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Piers

Thank you for the feedback. I must admit I was impressed by the pragmatic view taken by those dealers I spoke to. As a first event they didn't know what to expect and regarded this as a start and foundation for the future. I dont think any antcipated selling their larger value items so I was surprised to see or hear that several realtively high ticket pieces sold. 

The other important factor which bodes well for the future is the number of enthusiastic younger people who came to gain a better understanding. Hopefully they were sufficiently happy with what they learned to return and buy in future shows.

Security was also an initial concern for those collectors bringing pieces for the exhibition. However the venue was very professional run as was the show and security was as good or better than I have experienced in the many venues I have visited in my working life. Certainly I am unaware of any theft (although one of my beers seemed to disappear very quickly in the bar later :-? )

 

If you hear any other feedback please let me know and I will make sure Eddy is aware of it so we can take it in to account as and when something else is planned.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great, thanks Paul. I expect I'll see Eddie this summer in London anyway but just in case I forget to mention it, please do pass it on.

 

Oh, and I will start a reinforcing rumour here that it was merely an exploratory first event.  :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Finally on the website of the Italian association the article on the Samurai Art Expo is online, with many photos, videos and report of the activities carried out.

In conclusion we allowed ourselves to write some personal advice for future editions.

Thanks again to the organizers, it was amazing, I hope to see all the friends of this community soon!

 


 

Ps I apologize but it is in Italian, but I think that with Google translate you should not have too many problems
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an amazing article by the Italian NTK and I would like to recommend it to all our members.

Especially their web page deserves a closer look. What a stunning work.

Well done indeed... 

 

Thomas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...