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Yesterday, 03 / 07 / 2021, an event was held in Birmingham, the real one not the US copy, where Nihonto enthusiasts from all over the UK met for the first time after so many months of virus enforced separation. Special thanks must go to Ian Chapman and Mike Hickson - Smith for all their hard work in initiating the event, sourcing a venue and finally bringing the plan to its successful fruition.  Unfortunately covid restrictions imposed limits on the number of attendees that could be accommodated in the space, but nevertheless if gave those sword lovers who could attended a foretaste of happier and less restrictive times that undoubtedly lie ahead. On display were a wide selection of fine swords, blades, fittings and accessories, some of which were old friends, but so many were new to me. Sadly I was unable to remain for the continuing festivities, that revolved around an evening meal, and something I find unbelievable, more liquid nourishment, but my few hours of exposure to the items on display and perhaps more importantly the opportunity to meet up with old friends, reignited a passion that this dreadful era of isolation had blunted.

One again my thanks to Mike and Ian and let us look forward to making events like this a permanent feature in the future.

Ian Bottomley

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Indeed, heartfelt thanks to Ian C and Mike H-S who organised a wonderful gathering for around 20-25 of us in Lickey, Birmingham. The social as well as the educational aspects made it very enjoyable. Several collectors, including both Ian C and Ian B, Bob M, Dave F, etc  generously shared their items with the attendees. There were some unusual samurai accoutrements to be seen, or 'sleeper' unpapered yet blades of high quality and bearing all the hallmarks of the genuine artefact. All in all, it was a great event, held in a socially-managed and Covid-safe manner :)

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It was great to see everyone again and to see so many wonderful blades and fitting. We'll done to the organisers Ian and Mike and a special thank you  to Ian and Nikki for their hospitality. 


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On 8/21/2021 at 12:24 PM, IanB said:

Luc, Indeed, I look back and hope that the times we spent in Firenze can be repeated.

Ian Bottomley


Great times Ian, great memories too.

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