10 January 2022

East and West

The following picture shows the fundamental difference between pen shows in in the East and in the West:

Pens, pens, and pens. Madrid Pen Show 2021.

On this picture alone there are more pens than in any of the pen shows celebrated in Tokyo. And that is a representation of the differences in philosophies associated to them—Western shows are about pens, pens, and pens. Second hand and vintage pens are the name of the game, and after that you could also find some new pens and some inks and paper.

On the contrary, pen shows in Tokyo –and in other East Asian cities- are about cute things... and some pens, mostly new. Sure enough a couple of traders might be there offering used pens, but their offer pales in comparison to what you can see on a single table in Madrid, as the firs picture showed.

Lots of people, very few pens.
Tokyo International Pen Show 2019.
(Picture courtesy of Inktraveler).

As I have repeatedly said (::1::, ::2::), they are not pen shows but stationary salons where brands and new entrepreneurs show their products. But the formula works and there is no real incentive to change it.

Bottom line—if you were interested in pens go West, paradise is there.

Omas Extra ca. 1940 – Sailor Yama-dori

Bruno Taut
December 17th, 2021
etiquetas: España, Japón, evento, Tokyo, Madrid


Papish said...

Ah! Maybe a mixture would be paradise for some of us. Sometimes I miss more inks and paper to try before purchase.

I'd go West anyway, you know... To the promise land 😄

Bruno Taut said...

My paradise might be hell for others... But if you were looking for vintage pens, paradise is not in the East.

I look forward to seeing you in Japan, anyway!


R. Vieira said...

And what if you are after, say, vintage Japanese pens?


Bruno Taut said...

R. Vieira,

You have a point, but the problem is still the same--although you might be bound to look for those vintage pen in Japan, the number of traders in Japan is very limited, and even fewer of them attend the Tokyo Pen Show.

Thanks for passing by and commenting.



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