Photo Album: 2005 Pen Trading Show in Tokyo

Photos by Russ Stutler
March, 2005

"Debeso" Nakatani, president of Fuente inspecting a pen
Tokyo has two fountain pen shows each year. One is the event sponsored by the club "Fuente" in October (which I unfortunately missed last October due to a schedule conflict) and the other is the "Pen Trading Show in Tokyo" and is sponsored by the Pen Collectors of Japan. This is held every March in a room near Shirokanedai station. This year's Show was held on March 12 and 13.

President of the Pen Collectors of Japan Mutsumi Mori adjusts a pen at his pen clinic
This year I went on the first day (Saturday). Last year I went on the second day and discovered it was pretty quiet, and a lot of the pens had already been sold. This year, as usual, about a dozen pen vendors had their goods on display. In one corner a professional photographer had his light tent set up, and was busy shooting pens.

In another corner was an impressive display of Pilot Capless (Vanishing Point) pens with practically every model from every year represented. These pens were for display only and not for sale. In another corner there was a Pelikan table with a man from Pelikan's branch in Japan. Pelikan is very popular here, as is Mont Blanc.

The big attraction of this pen show seems to be the chance to hang out with other members of the Japanese pen collecting community who come from all over Japan. Many members come on both Saturday and Sunday and spend the whole day chatting with friends. There is lots of free coffee and tea and snacks. World renown pen collector Masa Sunami was walking around with a bag of doughnuts, passing them out to everyone.

Akitsugu Hasegawa (left) chats with his wife
I discovered that many more pen collectors than I had imagined visit this web site regularly for pen event information. I was also embarrased to discover that I had neglected to upload the information for this very event! I fixed that problem as soon as I got home.

Italian pen collector Vetulio Bondi flew in from Italy just for this event. Unfortunately my photo of him in this dimly lit room came out blurry. Since everybody was photographing everybody else, I'm sure his photo (and probably mine) will show up somewhere else on the web. He lives in Florence (Firenze), the stomping grounds of one of my sketching heroes, Leonardo DaVinci, so we had lots to talk about.

I hung around for a few hours hoping to catch Ron Dutcher of Kamakura Pens (we don't see each other much since his move to Okinawa) but I finally had to leave for another engagement before he showed up (sorry Ron!).

After I got home, I realized that I had not taken as many photos as I had thought, and many that I had taken were blurry due to the dimly lit room and my stubborn resistance to flash photography (it gives a completely different impression of what the atmosphere was like). I also neglected to snap Eurobox Eizo Fujii's photo this year (he's one of the pillars of this group). Sorry Eizo! Here are the few photos that turned out. Same folks as last time, only one year older. Click on any of the images below to see enlarged photos.

Akitsugu Hasegawa and Masa Sunami inspect a pen

Pen vendors having a good time in one corner

Another pen vendor has a quiet conversation in the opposite corner