The Simple Joys of Japanese Stationery

Stationery makers in Japan offer a dazzling lineup of innovative and trendy products, including customizable notebooks, masking tape in a rainbow of colors and designs, and imaginatively shaped erasers. Whether for a gift or personal use, there is something to meet almost any taste. In this series we delve into the remarkable world of writing materials to explore the ideas behind some of Japan’s most creative stationery items.

A Longtime Writing Companion: Japan’s Tsubame NotebookMitamura Fukiko

The Tsubame notebook first appeared seven decades ago and has become an iconic fixture in Japan. Since its debut it has garnered many fans, including the likes of film director Kurosawa Akira and French fashion designer Agnès B. The company that makes the sturdy, easy-to-use item has begun to branch out with new product series, but continues to insist on the quality that has been the bedrock of its success.
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Japanese Firm Brightens Work and Study with Adorable Collectable ErasersMitamura Fukiko

Japanese stationery maker Iwakō has tapped into the playful spirit of students and office workers alike with its series of collectable novelty erasers. The small firm offers a wide range of designs, including cuddly animals, vehicles, popular foods, and dinosaurs. The erasers have won droves of fans in Japan, an achievement the company hopes to replicate overseas.
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The Attractive, All-Purpose Masking Tape of Kamoi KakōshiMitamura Fukiko

In Japan, lovers of do-it-yourself crafts have lifted masking tape from its mundane industrial beginnings and transformed it into an eye-catching item that can add a touch of color to almost any project. We visited Japanese firm Kamoi Kakōshi in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, to learn more about its popular MT brand.
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Hit the Road in Japan and Abroad with the Traveler’s NotebookMitamura Fukiko

It has been 11 years since the debut of the Traveler’s Notebook. Created by Japanese design firm Designphil, the customizable notepad offers a wide variety of unique features and accessories, including a leather cover hand-crafted in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Since its launch, it has grown to become a favorite among globe-trotters in Japan and abroad.
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