Stationery lovers know there’s stationery… and then there’s Japanese Stationery. The Japanese not only love stationery, they are a nation that makes many of the world’s best brands — from the everyday to the special.
From precision creations to kawaii kitch, there is something for every taste in the Japanese stationery realm. Of course, any country that has an entire department store dedicated to stationery (Itoya for the uninitiated) knows the value of exceptional paper and well-executed design!
At Milligram, we stock many Japanese stationery brands, so we thought we’d share some more about what makes them so special.
Midori — Cult Japanese Stationery
Midori users range from enthusiasts to… well, cult-like obsessed! The original Midori Traveler’s Notebook, with its fully customisable interior, has become an internet and social media sensation. Users share tips, inserts, guides and so many photos of their various Traveler’s Notebooks — and we can’t get enough!
Midori has renamed this brand to simply ‘Traveler’s Notebook’ (yes, only one l). It usually has an annual special release colour, which can be notoriously hard to nab! The paper in the inserts is fountain pen friendly and people exhibit much creative flair in their “MTN”s.
Midori do create other stationery items other than the Traveler’s Notebook — from MD notebooks to pencils and much more. This is a brand you should definitely check out.
Kobe Ink Story
An ink range with colours inspired from a single city in Japan: Kobe. Initially created by Sailor Pen Company exclusively for the Kobe-Nagasawa Department Store, the range is selectively avaialble outside Japan – and the colour range is stunning (check out our blog review of Kitanozaka Night Blue #38).
The Sailor Pen Company has been manufacturing in Japan since 1911, creating the first gold nib fountain pens in Japan. They now create a number of ink ranges that fountain pen users enjoy the world over.
Milligram stocks over 20 of the colours in the range, so if you need some Japanese ink perfection in your collection, check out Kobe Ink Story at Milligram.
This is a diary brand that is HUGE amongst planner fans — it’s definitely another ‘cult’ brand… some may even say “it’s a way of life”. The Hobonichi Techo planner range is largely in Japanese… but that doesn’t deter fans! Milligram received its first range of Hobonichi in late 2017 and they flew out the door!
The colours and covers are hugely varied but it’s the paper and styling that attracts fans. They’re fountain pen friendly and have a clean design that allows you to be minimal or go crazy with colour and customisation. There are three styles: the A6 Original (Japanese) and A6 Planner (English), the A5 Cousin (Japanese) and the slimmer Weeks (Japanese).
“I do not seek, I find.” is the opening line in these gorgeous Japanese notebooks.
This is relatively young Japanese notebook brand (founded 2017) that benefits from the heritage of production in Japan and the founder’s family history of print production. The “smooth as silk” paper reflects a culture focused on creating perfect paper.
Kunisawa report this paper is Japan’s only paper dedicated to executive-grade note-taking — the kind of paper used in Japan only for high-class, watermarked notebooks, letter sets and other materials. The notebooks feature a copper gilt edge foiling to enhance the luxury feel and extend the life of the paper.
Check out this video on how the range is created — simply beautiful and mesmerising to watch.
This is a long time favourite at Milligram. Delfonics create a huge range year-round, have a colourful and creative diary range annually — and even have sub-brands like the awesome Rollbahn or Quitterie ranges.
Rollbahn notebooks feature gridded, fountain pen friendly ivory paper and many feature spiral binding, making them the ideal university or work notebook. The Quitterie range features the same great paper but with fashionable, durable PVX covers. Delfonics also produce fun bags, phone cases, pens… and did we mention the awesome diary range?!
The Delfonics stationery range manages to match fun fashion with excellent quality.
This brand has a lovely inception story — being named “life” to celebrate the positivity needed after the end of WWII, it was originally sold out of the back of a bicycle cart. This small range is largely assembled by hand in Japan (see behind the scenes at Life Stationery) by a passionate group of dedicated workers.
Again, this range is characterised by its exceptional paper. The covers of the notebooks and pads feature a traditional, old-world style of design, which is quite charming. Fountain pen users love Life Stationery… as does anyone who appreciates quality paper.
Visit Life Stationery at Milligram to see the range.
Shop the full range of Japanese Stationery at Milligram.