Japanese Creative Magic Japanese Creative Magic

Unleash creativity with Japanese stationery's
rich history and endless inspiration.

Looking for inspiration? So are we, and we always find some with Japanese stationery. If you’re creatively stuck, maybe all you need is a little push, a first stroke, a doodle, a blank page to get started. 

We love to create: art, bujos, pencil drawings, and more, and we find a lot of inspiration in the artwork of Japanese creators, and the ability to create our own with the original and ingenious items produced by Japanese stationery suppliers!

We want to help you do the same, but let’s roll back for a second: why Japanese stationery? Well… it’s got quite the history!

History of Japanese Stationery History of Japanese Stationery

The history of Japanese stationery dates back centuries. Traditional Japanese stationery had its roots in calligraphy and the art of writing.

During the Heian period (794-1185), brushes made from animal hair, such as horse or goat, were commonly used for writing. Ink was produced from natural materials like pine soot and animal glue.

In the Edo period (1603-1868), the use of stationery expanded as literacy rates rose and writing became more widespread. The development of new writing tools and materials accelerated during this period.

During the Meiji period (1868-1912), Japan began to modernize rapidly. The adoption of Western techniques and technologies influenced the stationery industry. Western-style pens, pencils, and notebooks were introduced, leading to a blend of traditional and modern stationery choices.

In the 20th century, Japan's stationery industry saw significant growth. Companies like Mitsubishi Pencil, Pilot Corporation, and Tombow emerged as major players, manufacturing innovative writing instruments and stationery products.

Japanese stationery gained popularity not only within Japan but also internationally. Its reputation for high quality, precision, and unique designs contributed to its success. Japanese stationery brands focused on functionality, aesthetics, and attention to detail, catering to the diverse needs of consumers.

How to use Japanese stationery How to use Japanese stationery

Now, where do you even get started with Japanese stationery? An easy place is always with Washi Tape. It may be just a tape to some, but if you’ve got the right combination of colors, patterns, thickness and width, you can discover an entire creative field!

We’ve written quite a few articles about this on the blog: how to use Japanese washi tape, how to decorate your furniture with washi tape and more.

We also love to take a quality Japanese pencil and just let it glide over a notebook until something takes shape. It distracts the mind, let’s go of our stress, and brings some joy into our lives.

There’s so much you can do with Japanese stationery, and we’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from the many creators that have worked with us: we’ll let you decide!

In the meantime, here’s our preferred Started Kit:

  • Tombow Dual Brush Pens: Tombow is renowned for its high-quality brush pens. These dual-tip pens feature a flexible brush tip for creating beautiful brush lettering or illustrations, and a fine tip for precise details. They come in a wide range of vibrant colors, making them ideal for adding color and creativity to your art or bullet journal pages.
  • Muji Gel Pens: Muji is a popular Japanese brand known for its minimalist and functional designs. Their gel pens are smooth, reliable, and come in various tip sizes and ink colors. Muji gel pens are perfect for precise writing, doodling, or adding fine details to your bullet journal spreads.
  • Midori MD Notebooks: Midori produces high-quality notebooks that are beloved by journaling enthusiasts. Their MD notebooks feature fountain pen-friendly paper with a smooth texture, making them great for various art mediums and writing instruments. They come in different sizes and bindings, providing options to suit your preferences.
  • Zebra Mildliner Highlighters: Zebra's Mildliner highlighters have gained popularity for their unique pastel colors and double-sided tips. These highlighters offer a broad chisel tip for highlighting and a fine bullet tip for underlining or writing. They are perfect for adding a soft touch of color to your bullet journal or creating visually appealing highlights.
  • MT Washi Tape: MT is a well-known brand for its high-quality washi tapes. Washi tapes are decorative adhesive tapes made from traditional Japanese paper. MT offers a vast selection of patterns, colors, and widths, allowing you to add a creative and personalized touch to your art or bullet journal pages. Washi tapes can be used for borders, page dividers, or as decorative elements.

If you’re reading to get yours, go check out our Japanese Stationery Box, where we curate a unique selection of the best Stationery items from Japan every month!