Tag Archives: Ginza Knife Show

Ginza Blade Show 2016–Accessorize

I nodded at them; she gave a polite smile back; he latched on to her and held her close to let me know she was with him. They went strait to a table to look at knives made from agate. That was the start of the Ginza Blade Show today, and it was actually a promising start.

In the past, there haven’t been many women at the shows and it’s especially rare to see young women take an interest in knives, even it was the ones made from stone.

The display of stone knives made by Takeji Kitabayashi. I like the display more than the knives.

The back lit display of stone knives made by Takeji Kitabayashi. I like the display; the knives are pretty good, too.

Oddly, today’s show seemed deliberately targeted towards women and people who usually don’t show an interest in knives. It featured the most knife-related accessories of any show, including lots of stuff made from leather and paracord, and several accessories that were just stylish, not knife-related. There were also hand-forged Damascus steel pizza cutters.

Pizza cutters made from Damascus steel hand-forged by Shoichi Hashimoto. They were 1350.

Pizza cutters made from Damascus steel hand-forged by Shoichi Hashimoto. They were $1,350 each.

Because of this, it was a larger show than usual. There were enough makers present that some of them got sent to the “little kids room” on the other side of the lobby.

Steam punk designer Lotus_Maple_Walnut, had a display featuring a glowing box, steam punk key chains, and $50 steam punk covers for your $1 box of mints.

Lotus_Maple_Walnut's key chains and accessories.

Lotus_Maple_Walnut’s key chains and accessories.

Pen and knife maker Hidetoshi Nakayama had a table with only four items: a knife with a unique deployment method (that I couldn’t get a good picture of), an ugly knife, a key chain knife shaped like peanuts, and an ivory bolt action pen.

I wonder if this is airport security compliant.

I wonder if this is airport security compliant.

I didn't bother asking the price of this pen, but he did let me play with it.

I didn’t bother asking the price of this pen–it’s only a ballpoint pen after all–but the maker did let me play with it.

As for knives, there was a good mix of different styles. In the past the shows have been overwhelmed by variations of Bob Loveless drop point hunters or expensive slip joint pocket knives or fantastic art knives that belong in a museum and out in the field. This time, there were folders of various shapes and sizes and a lot of the items seemed to priced to move, especially to up and coming knife people. If you want new people in your hobby, you can’t scare them off with $600 knives (that comes later).

One of my favorite knife makers had dropped his prices around 20% and other makers had a good range of prices. I ended up buying a $26 dollar knife I can practice sharping on.  I didn’t catch what steel it is, but it came with a cord wrapped handle. After I bought it, the maker, Hideo Yamazaki (who lives in my town) threw in an extra small knife for free.

Later, I saw a small slip joint folder and mentioned to my Canadian friend that I liked it but it was just out my price range. Suddenly, the maker made it cheaper and I couldn’t resist. Three knives for the price of two. Not bad.

I hope this trend toward the different, the cheaper and the accessory continues in future shows. The Tokyo Folding Knife Show is next month. I guess I’ll see then.

Note: Here are a few photos from the day:

The crowd begins to arrive right as the doors open.

The crowd begins to arrive right as the doors open. The cool couple are in the top right corner. 

Mamoru Fujita's incredible detail work.

Mamoru Fujita’s incredible detail work.

Mamoru Fujita's Mount Fuji blade.

Mamoru Fujita’s handcarved Mount Fuji blade.

Still available from the last show I attended: Kiku Knives first flipper.

Still available from the last show I attended: Kiku Matsuda’s first flipper.

 

 

 

Wasting Time With Pointy Stabby Things

I’m in the middle of marking exams which meant today was a good day to stop by the Ginza Blade Show down in Tokyo and do some window shopping and loafing.

I’ve mentioned before my rekindled interest in Pointy Stabby Things and today marks the third trip I’ve made to a Japanese custom knife show. As such, the knife makers who’ve been to each knife show have started to treat me like a regular. To-Un Ihara, who I talked with during the first knife show and bought something from during the second, asked where the Canadian was (answer: working) and if I liked and was actually using my knife (answer: yes and sort of). His factory is close to my town and he invited me to visit, which I will sometime this summer.

Another maker showed off his English skills and talked about being in Atlanta last month for the Blade Show. Another guy, who sells knife making supplies, showed off his English and tried to convince me to start making knives. I was like “no way I have too many hobbies and a blog to write” and “well, probably by the end of the summer I might give it a try just for the hell of it”.

There was an odd mix of styles at this show, which made it more interesting than the last one. This is the first show I’ve been to with knives that could be described as “tactical”. The most interesting were from Kiku Knives, who works with Western makers. He had knives, well, swords actually that I think require registration and the good will of the police to own. (More on that later.)

There was also a lot of “man jewelry” and “blade art” that didn’t seem designed to be used. One maker had one-of-kind knives with narwhal ivory handles he was willing to let go for $4,800. The Steam Punk knife with lots of brass and cool bits has lots of painful hot spots and would be impossible to use for more than opening letters (and nowadays, how stupid would you look stabbing your smartphone simply because the LED was flashing).

The most unusual knives, though had glass blades. They were beautiful and kind of cool–and had me thinking “man who has glass knife should not throw it” which isn’t funny at all. I didn’t see the point of the glass knifes and didn’t have a chance to talk to him.

I ended up not buying anything, but I did manage to record a lot of video footage that I will edit sometime in the 21st century. I also ended up confused. After lots of research I thought I understood Japanese knife laws, but after playing with several knives that were long enough to qualify as swords, it’s clear there are nuances in the law I don’t understand which means I’ll never buy one of those knives. Which, in the end may be the goal of Japanese knife laws.