Since i posted it on all the other forums, I might as well here. For all of us trying to work within this style these sorts of things are IMO rather important. Not because everyone has to do everything traditional, but because with 1000 years of history the real examples hold a lot of accumulated knowledge. As the old expression goes, we all stand on the shoulders of giants. As such we should understand what we're standing on so we don't repeat the mistakes that they learned to avoid... Anyway...

This upcoming weekend (August 15, 16 and 17)is the big annual San Francisco Token Kai. This is the big US swordshow showcasing nihonto. I.e., the real deal -- Japanese Swords. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. Basically all the big names in the nihonto world will be there. You will be able to see things ranging from inexpensive gunto looking for a home to swords most of us will probably never be able to afford.

Bugei will also have a booth as usual at the show to help support that side of the sword world. They dropped by my place this morning on the drive up to pick up some things from me so I got to see the variety of stuff shoe-horned in their van. Some of their nice new sword stands, cleaning kits, miscellaneous stuff and of course some of the Hanwei exclusive swords. Nice stuff.

Fred Lohman is usually there as well.

Ted Tenold ( will also be there with some of his new fittings, a set of fittings of mine I'd like to sell (antique), as well as some other stuff. He's going to have one of the swords up for sale on his site right now. It might not be one you want to risk handling (expensive!) but that's the kind of stuff that's at these shows. If you're in the market for fittings you will be able to find fantastic old fittings as well as see some of Ted's new cool reproduction sets.

Anyway, it is this upcoming weekend. Due to family conflicts I'm not going up until late Saturday night but hopefully the usual gang will be in the bar drinking too much. I will only have a few hours at the tables on Sunday. But keep an eye out for me -- I'll be wandering about probably at one of the polishing supply vendors' tables looking at big rocks...

I have to say that I've announced this damned near every year here. But so few ever make it. I don't know if its intimidation or whatever, but geez, guys and gals, here's a chance to see swords that are hundreds of years old that you can actually look at, handle, and maybe even buy. There are *always* bargains there. And more fittings than you can imagine. Even if you're not into Japanese swords that's a whole lot of old steel in one room... So come on, get out and see some real swords. Ones that were used for real. One made for people whose lives depended on their swords. Swords with history. And support this world we all so cherish.

Info cut from the offical announcement follows...

San Francisco Token Kai
San Francisco Airport Marriot

Show Hours and Fees:
FRIDAY: Setup, table holders only:
Setup, table holders only:
Show hours: 6:00 pm To 10:00 pm
8:00 am To 12:00 noon
12:00 noon To 10:00 pm
SATURDAY: Show hours: 9:00 am To 10:00 pm
SUNDAY: Show hours: 9:00 am To 4:00 pm


Friday $ 10.00
Saturday $ 5.00
Sunday $ 5.00
Weekend Special $ 15.00