The best was out of my league. The second best had already sold. The third chased me away.
Today was the Tokyo Folding Knife Show which meant I made a short pilgrimage down to Tokyo to check it out. It had been moved to a new space close to Tokyo Station. This made it more convenient than the old place, but also meant it lacked any real character. It was a white box full of tables and knives.
My Canadian friend was helping take care of his newborn and that meant I made only a short visit.
The selection was pretty good, and there were a couple makers I hadn’t seen before.
The first knife I picked up was one thousand dollars. The knife maker actually thanked me for picking it up and then gushed that it had been made by his son. His son had done an excellent job. The color was great and the flipping action was perfect. However, the blade was not something I’d be able to use and there was the “thousand dollars” thing.
The only knife I’d have bought without hesitation if it had been available was by Taiwanese knife maker Chen Wei Chun. He’s had a table at the last few knife shows and is a rising star who seems to be popular among the usual crowd at the shows. His Shih Lin folding knife was a work of art with a Damascus steel blade and engraved scales. At just under $300 it was a steal. Fortunately, or unfortunately, his few offerings had sold out soon after the show opened.
The knife that chased me away, though, was by Ryo Ito. He’s a maker I hadn’t seen at the shows before and his offerings were an entire table of temptation, mostly because they fell in my “Yeah, I could totally justify that” price range.
My favorite was a nice spear point flipper with a carbon fiber scale on the presentation side and titanium on the clip side. I might have been able to talk him down, but instead I finished a couple circuits of the room before coming back to his table, running a circuit of rationalizations, and then running away.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, he lives just down the tracks from here.