Antiques are big business everywhere -- even in Japan, where the post-war generation has acquired a reputation of throwing away anything old.
Antiques are big business everywhere -- even in Japan, where the post-war generation has acquired a reputation of throwing away anything old. But lately the ranks of antique collectors have swelled, steadily pushing up the prices of antiques.
SYNOPSIS: Kanda Antique Market in Tokyo is one of the biggest in the country. Fifty five dealers display more than one hundred thousand objects here at any one time. They all have their own time. They all have their own shops in the market precinct, and auctions are held throughout the day, every day. Prospective buyers congregate at the market in search of treasure, buying everything from old clocks to beautifully hand-painted ornamental plates.
Among the many buyers, European antiques dealers find Japan a proverbial treasure island. And the well-stocked shelves in the market's stockroom point to more business to come.
Away from Kanda Market, the Japanese dealers find most of their wares in the country districts around Tokyo. Many a housewife here has parted with what she has dismissed as old junk -- but for a collector may prove a desirable antique.
And when all the new stocks are assembled in the yard, the items are restored as attractive antiques which can increase in value more than tenfold. So the auctions go on, and up and down the country, swarms of buyers and tourists continue looking for enticing finds.