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Olivia's Story Time Ep.1

I was organizing my space the other day and I stumbled upon this letter that then became our lifelong business contract.

It’s kind of weird, when you have a baby and you look up, the baby’s become a young man and you haven’t a clue as to what your life before him was like. I can’t seem to trace a lot of the pictures I have from life before momhood but the memories are vivid in my mind and I do have paraphernalia as proof!

Out of all of the keepsakes, this is one of my faves. A hand written business contract that was written by Shosui-san (from Takeda Hamono) when I met him in New Jersey at the annual knife show. I was exceptionally nervous, as it was our first business purchase of some of our soon-to-be all-time favourites. Shosui-san introduced blue super steel to North America along with his father’s original hand held stone design. From the very get-go, you could see just how welcoming he was. We hit it off and continue to have a great partnership to this day and hopefully for many years to come.

I wrote to Shosui San to ask him if he remembers that day and if he was ok with me sharing this note with all of you. 

He replied:

Hi Olivia,
I’m sure remember!
We met when I finished toilet at the show place and you bought full knives with cash you have then.
You are always good partner forever and ever .
Thank you the past 11 years and future.
Yes you can use my letter.
Best regards,

His response reminded me a little more of that night when I had traveled back from Jersey to Toronto with a luggage full of beautiful Takeda knives. I hadn’t declared them at the border and of course when I was stopped by the guard he thought he had me when he pulled out a couple layers of cool textured fabrics from a fabric store in New York City. I think he read the panic in my eyes. The gold, as we all know, was stashed beneath all that and the guard was not anticipating to pull out one sharp knife after the next.  I was sweating profusely. The anticipation of their inquiries was excruciating. The pressure in my head grew;  What was to be of my future?  What had I eaten?  Was this the end of something that didn’t even really start? I guess you kind of know the answer to some of these questions since Shosui’s letter has exposed that it’s been over 11 years since. 

My stomach was bubbling. My rare sake I was supposed to bring back to a good  friend, I hadn’t declared that either. Jeez it just kept getting worse. I think I added excitement to this border guard’s night. Thankfully, at some point, after a lot of time in the back, he came around.  He stopped, looked at me with a pregnant pause…—- and broke the silence with a smile. He kindly wrote me up a fat tax bill that I was so eager to pay. I was ok, the knives were ok!  Phew…we did it!  He took my sake however and I think I remember a wink and a nod. I think it was a good exchange. And that…was the tone, and just the beginning of a longer journey to come. 

I’ve been happy to meet Shosui San in a few more places again, like in other places in the USA and back in his own homeland of Japan which were very cool excursions in and of itself. Perhaps, those are stories for another time…

Thank you Shosui San for opening up your world to us. We cherish our memories with you and your family and the journey ahead of us. We have been graced with your blessings everyday.  We wish you all the best in health and happiness.

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