07 July 2021

Madrid vs. Tokyo (2021)

On the weekend of June 26-27, two different pen events took place in two very different cities: Madrid and Tokyo. This alone are very good news in times of pandemic, but a lot more can be said.


Let's start with the contexts. Madrid is a city of about 3.5 million people with a metropolitan area of 6.7 million. Tokyo, on it side, is home to 14 million with a metropolitan area of 37 million.

Regarding the infection conditions, Spain is currently doing a lot better than Japan in terms of immunization. At the time of the event, over 30% of the Spanish population had been vaccinated. And Japan, at the time, was struggling to get 3% of the population in the same conditions, and that despite the incoming  Olympic Games...

Then, 10 traders gathered in Madrid on Saturday morning (June 26th), and attracted about 100 potential buyers.

Madrid, June 26th.

In Tokyo, the yearly Pen Trade event was composed by 10 traders and 100 visitors over two days –Saturday and Sunday.

Tokyo, June 26th.

The plain figures are not very different, and any variation could be associated to the different levels in the immunization rates in these two countries... Maybe. However, the differences run much deeper.

The most obvious contrast, and not limited to these events of this month of June, is the mere number of pen for sale on the tables. On just one table in Madrid there were as many pens –or even more-- that in the whole Pen Trade event in Tokyo. We have seen this effect in other, bigger, events celebrated in these two cities—namely, the Madrid Pen Show, and the Tokyo International Pen Show.

Tokyo, June 26th.

Madrid, June 26th.

The real paradox is that a population shy of 7 million –Madrid-- concentrates more pens and more traders than Greater Tokyo with a population five times bigger. That or the organizers of pen events in Tokyo fail to attract those traders. Something is done very well in Madrid, and not so well in Tokyo.

And that, among other things, is why I say that the Tokyo International Pen Show is not a pen show. But there is always something interesting to take home with you.

The spoils fo the Pen Trade 2021. Not too bad...

My thanks to Inktraveler, whose pictures are greatly appreciated.


Montblanc 146 celluloid – Diamine Teal

Bruno Taut
July 7th, 2021
etiquetas: evento, Madrid, Tokyo

3 comments:

Ppsystem said...

Thanks you Bruno.
We always have news and information in your blog.
And the Tokyo International pen show, as you said,may be less interesting in old FP as Chicago, Washington or Madrid, but has always interesting pieces and artisans.
I love it!

Papish said...

I'm so surprised. I thought there will be at least the same amount of people attending the events, but... No way!

Maybe covid restrictions on travelling could be one of the reasons pen traders were not so attracted to go to Tokyo.

That being said... That pens are a great reward for going to the Pen Trade. The Waterman safety is AMAZING.

Thank you for sharing.

Saltire Turquoise said...

A successful shopping trip : )

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