A couple of weeks ago someone posted on the Classifieds asking if anyone was going to the Yamaguchi Flea Market and would be willing to pick him up something. Always looking for new stuff to do and willing to help out anyone, I offered to go for him. Turns out Chris was looking for Tsubas. Tsubas are the hand guard part of a Japanese sword. He wanted some of the antique ones that are sold at the flea market. He had been stationed here before and wanted to add to the collection he had started.
I started getting worried that this might be scam when I realized how much these things normally cost around ¥10,000-¥50,000 a piece. Thankfully Chris sent me money via Paypal before we went to cover the cost a week before we went to the flea market.
This particular flea market is supposedly the largest flea market in Southern Japan. I have been wanting to go check it out for a while but it is two hours away and you need to be there by 6:30am to get decent parking. It is only opened the first Sunday of every month. Jeremy and I set out EARLY on Sunday morning to head towards the flea market. The drive was really easy and one we had made before for the White Fox Festival.
I don’t know if it was because of the rain but the flea market was smaller than I was expecting. Of course I am use to the American flea markets that are huge so this may have been normal sized. I was happy to see all the different vendors.
We immediately started working our way around the different vendors. We decided to look first for the Tsubas before we started looking for stuff for us. I used Facebook messenger to talk to Chris and to show him the different Tsubas we found. He would either ask us to find out the price or tell us to move on.
As we walked around we found all sorts of different things for sell. Some people were selling kimonos, fish, pottery, or household items. Somethings were normal for what you would find at a flea market and then somethings I have no words for (check out the photos below to see what I am talking about).
Jeremy and I spent about 2 hours going through and talking to all the vendors. Chris ended up picking out 4 different Tsubas. I have never spent $600 at a flea market before. After we purchased his Tsubas, we looked around for some things for us. Jeremy found some Dragonball Hero cards and a Kendo sword. An older Japanese gentleman came up as we were looking at different vendor’s stall and started talking to Jeremy in Japanese about his Kendo stick. Unfortunately we couldn’t understand him so he reached for Jeremy’s sword. The gentleman started showing Jeremy how to carry it (Jeremy had been carrying it wrong) and how to properly strike someone with it. It was an interesting exchange.
It was a fun experiencing (aside from the one vendor who got mad I wasn’t spending $200 on his Tsubas and decided to imply I was fat and calling Jeremy my son). When I get back from the states I want to go back. We saw so many things that we want to go back and buy. I have shipped Chris’ Tsubas and he should have them by now.